2017 Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards

Thank you Wiri Licensing Trust

The outstanding international and emerging sporting talent of the region, and the contribution and success of sports clubs and their dedicated members were celebrated at the Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards held on Sunday 26th November. The event took place in the BNZ theatre at Vodafone Events Centre and was attended by 350 guests. Finalists and recipients were recognised for their sporting achievements to the year ending 30/09/2017.

The more than 230 nominations were whittled down to 91 finalists and ultimately to 15 winners on the night. Our Junior Sportswoman and Junior Sportsman categories were hotly contested with over 60 nominations between the two. The Sportsman of the Year category was one of the most impressive categories the judges had seen in years. Overall the judges commented that this year’s nominations were of the highest calibre they had seen to date.

The awards culminated in international superstars Portia Woodman and Joseph Parker being named Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year respectively. Joseph Parker was named the Counties Manukau Sportsperson of the Year which was accepted by his parents.


Our guest speaker on the night was boxer and community healthy life style star, David “Brown Buttabean” Letele. David took us on the journey of his rag-to-riches upbringing expressing his challenges with family, sport and growing up in Counties Manukau. Today, David runs fitness boot camps which attract struggling Pacific Islander families where obesity is a problem. His motto of “NO EXCUSES” has proved to be successful with a number of participants dropping 40kg after a few months in his programme.

The change to an academy format was successful with many of our attendees commenting favourably on the shorter ceremony time, and the opportunity to mix and mingle before and after the ceremony. We thank you again for supporting the celebration of our Counties Manukau sporting community at the 2017 Sporting Excellence Awards. The talent and contribution of members in our community continues to amaze and inspire us all.

The Wiri Licensing Trust – 2017 Administrator of the Year

Jack Kani
Puni Rugby Football & Sports Club

Coach, mentor and key organiser within the Puni Rugby Football Club, in 2017 Jack has revitalised a long standing Club that had dropped away to a social presidents team and had no young players coming through.

As a result of reconnecting families back to the Club, they were able to field a team based on youth players in the Premier 3 grade. To retain and regenerate interest and competition Jack was able to convince the CMRFU to play all teams in the grade at the same venue each week which resulted in some serious “old school” rugby competition and great results for all clubs.

Jack is now working on revitalising the clubrooms and developing netball at the club in the first steps of a small rural multi-sport facility. Jack has shown incredible leadership and dedication to the Club and the associated whanau.

2017 Finalists

Clare Elson
Papakura City Football Club

Cameron Wilson
Howick Pakuranga Hockey Club

Phillip Tasmania
Auckland Niue Rugby League Club

Martin Peat
Counties Manukau Orienteering Club