2016 has been a successful year for our Māori athletes in all disciplines. Tonight, athletes who have performed outstandingly at an international level were individually acknowledged at the annual Māori Sports Awards in Manukau.
INDIVIDUAL MĀORI WORLD CHAMPIONS:
Tokomaru Taylor (Tainui, Taranaki) MUAY THAI - Tokomaru returned home from this year's Muay Thai World Youth Championships victorious. He was crowned best in the world in his weight and age category, winning gold.
Tyrell Rapana (Ngati Wai) FIELD ARCHER- Tyrell took out the club division of the IFAA World Field Archery Competition held in Wagga Wagga, Australia last month.
Sam Gaze (Te Atiawa) CYCLING - This year was cross-country cyclist Sam Gaze's first year competing at the Olympic Games.
Lisa Carrington (Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Mahaki) CANOE RACING - Lisa Carrington proves time and time again why she is the best in the world at canoe sprinting. She brought home a gold and bronze medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Akayshia Williams (Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti) WAKA AMA- Akayshia was awarded a gold medal at the 2016 Waka Ama World Sprint Championships in Australia. She broke the world record in the J19 W1 race.
Nyree King (Waikato) WAKA AMA - Nyree King is one of Aotearoa's best female waka ama paddlers. She broke a world record at this year's Waka Ama World Championships in the Master 50W race, winning gold.
Tia Akurangi (Ngati Porou, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Ngapuhi) WAKA AMA - Tia won gold at the 2016 Waka Ama World Championships in the J16 W1 race. She also broke the world record.
Sonny (Richard) Pehi (Ngapuhi) WAKA AMA
Byron Chivers (Ngati Porou) MMA - Byron “Young Blood” Chivers won his weight class at the 2016 International Mixed Martial Arts Federation World Championships in Las Vegas.
Rota Jnr Elliott (Ngati Awa, Whakatohea, Ngati Rangitihi) BODYBUILDING - Elliott was placed in the top 3 at the 2016 Natural Olympia Competition. He was named Mr. East Coast Physique at the 2016 East Coast Championship.
MĀORI WORLD CHAMPION TEAMS:
- Aotearoa NZ Elite Men's V6 500 Waka Ama Team
- Aotearoa NZ Elite Women's V6 500 & 1500 Waka Ama team
- Aotearoa NZ Junior 19 Women's 500 & 1000m Waka Ama team.
Māori sports scholarships were also given to the following athletes on behalf of the respective companies;
Manukau Institute of Technology Scholarships:
Bryston Takinui (Tainui) MANGERE COLLEGE
Robert Downes (Ngapuhi, Ngati Tuwharetoa) PAPAKURA HIGH SCHOOL
Skills Active Aotearoa Scholarship:
Ronin Ihaka Ainsley (Ngai Te Rangi) WRESTLING
Manukatoa MSA Watson & Son, Combat Sports Scholarship:
Reilly Polaschek (Ngai Te Rangi) KARATE