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Thursday May 4, 2017

SPORT

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Kelsey Forman awarded top female athlete at athletics awards By Dave Crampton

Double track and field U20 champion Kelsey Forman picked up the top female athletics award at the annual Athletics Wellington dinner last night. The Island Bay athlete is the country’s top U20 middle distance track runner and the national U20 road champion. She picked up the overall female Athlete of the Year award. She also won the Senior Middle Distance runner, heading off Wellington Harrier Athletic Club clubmate Tessa Hunt, winner of the U18 800m national title. Olympic 1500m bronze medallist Nick Willis was awarded the Male Athlete of the Year and the senior middle distance runner for his 1500m bronze medals at both the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the IAAF Indoor World Championships in the United States. Forty-one awards from 35 categories were presented at the awards dinner, covering track and field, cross country, and road events for both junior and senior athletes, and volunteers in the Wellington and Wairarapa regions. However, both top award recipients were unable to attend the awards dinner. Kelsey was hoping to do well in the U20 1800m/1500m double at

nationals this year. “I was aiming to medal in both – and I got a personal best in the 800m,” she said. She did not just medal; both medals were gold medals – the only Wellington athlete to win multiple national track and field titles. Still, she did not expect to win last night’s top award. “I`m a little bit puzzled – I`m surprised. There are so many other amazing athletes,” she said when told of her award. Kelsey acknowledged her coach, Evan Cooper, who was nominated for Coach of the Year and also coached last year’s co-winner of the Male Athlete of the Year, James Preston. She said it would take a bit of getting used to getting recognised with the top award, when she is so used to hearing other names as recipients. “It’s pretty special – I`m pretty pleased.” Kelsey was also nominated for the senior cross country and road award. That was won by Katie Kemp, who ran the second fastest marathon by a New Zealander in 2016. In the junior category, Island Bay’s Maia Wilkinson picked up two awards in both cross country and middle distance, after winning almost every event

Co-nominee Tessa Hunt with winner Kelsey Forman at Nationals in March.

she entered, in both road, cross country and track events. Her cross country award was shared with Hataitai athlete Esther

Kozyniak, who also won events in track, road and cross-country. Scottish Harriers took out both the male and female team awards

Netballers encouraged to dream big

Netballers could be dreaming of new uniforms. PHOTO: Supplied.

Local netball lovers can apply for special help to get their team the best they can be. ANZ Bank is calling for entries in their Dream Delivery programme to help netball players achieve their dreams this season, whether it is for high performance gear to propel performance, training and tips by some of the best in the sport or

inspirational visits from their netball heroes. ANZ Head of Sponsorship Sue McGregor said the bank was proud to support netball at all levels. “We know sometimes all you need is just that little bit of extra help to achieve your dreams, so we are committed to helping as many netball fans as we can.”

So far applicants in the southern and eastern suburbs include South Wellington Intermediate School, hoping to get new hoodies for one of their netball teams. Other groups and schools have applied for gear, coaches and referees.  To apply for support head to www.anz.co.nz/dreambig

after the senior men and masters women teams successfully defended their national road relay titles.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Bond’s new mission should he choose to accept it Eric Murray’s retirement from rowing presents the prospect that Hamish Bond’s road cycling exploits may become more than just a phase. Murray announced his retirement after two Olympic gold medals and an unbeaten run which spanned 69 races. Such dominance is rarely seen in any sport and they, along with Mahe Drysdale, have been the backbone of a golden era of New Zealand rowing. Since then Bond has spent his time cycling. The Tour of Southland event and a race win over Kiwi Tour de France rider George Bennett in Nelson, has seen the rower turn plenty of heads while pushing the pedals. The smart money suggests he could be a bolter for the Commonwealth Games. Sunday night’s news about his good friend will only intensify that rumour mill. Having met Bond casually a couple of times when he was out of competition, he struck me as a quiet, no fuss, do the job and go home type of person. In contrast, Murray was more of the charismatic talker with the beaming smile and flashy facial hair that you either adored or cringed at. However, having interviewed Bond after a cycle race, there is clearly a very analytical, motivated and savvy sportsman with a big heart and desire to win at everything. In his answers to my questions I noted a more hardened resolve to him and his cycling quest. This is not like the McCaw’s doing a multi-sport event for fun. Bond is deadly serious about competitive cycling. You wouldn’t bet against him causing a big stir on the Gold Coast in 2018.

Cook Strait News 04-05-17  

Cook Strait News 04-05-17

Cook Strait News 04-05-17  

Cook Strait News 04-05-17