Hunia wins Radio Sports Journalism Award

  • Auckland

Ravinder Hunia of Tapuika is humbled after being named winner of this year's Radio Sports Journalism Award at the TP McLean Sports Journalism Awards.

The Radio NZ sports journalist was up against two of her work colleagues, Joe Porter and Clay Wilson. 

"When my name was called out I was really shocked and really humbled at the same time because I know my colleagues so well.  I thought 'there's probably a small chance of me winning this award' because I think they're so great as well," she says. 

Hunia received the award for a story she covered on the Women's Warriors team who played in the inaugural National Rugby League Women's (NRLW) Premiership.

"They didn't have a media person liaising with them and it was really hard to find the time to get to their training sessions because they trained at night while the men's team trained during the day.

"So it was going out there on a cold winter night and interviewing them while they were hard out doing their mahi.  To know that- not only winning the award for the work was great, to get it for that kaupapa meant even more."

Hunia has always been an avid sports fan.  Before becoming a sports journalist at Radio NZ nearly a year ago, she worked as a sports reporter for Newshub.

She says becoming a sports journalist has been rewarding and has allowed her to showcase the talent of those who are "not only amazing athletes, but amazing human beings".

"I'm not in this position out of luck, i'm here and I have a responsibility for that kaupapa as well.  I'm quite passionate about telling stories about our women as well as our men."

Ravinder and husband Boss

While Hunia has produced a wide range of sports stories during her time as a sports journalist, there's one story in particular that stands out for her.

"The memorable story would probably be the kabaddi story that I covered earlier this year which was our women's kabaddi.  They were getting ready to compete in Malaysia and they let me train with them which was quite interesting and tough but it was just a great way to see how much love and hard work these women were actually putting into the sport.

"It's one thing to shoot it and talk about it, but it's another to actually be on the other side of it and playing it and being a part of it, so I was quite honoured in that sense."

The former Māori Television news archive librarian says her passion for journalism began while working for the TV service.  It was here that she also started her journey to learn te reo Māori. 

"I really found myself wanting to do this type of work and at the time being so immersed in kaupapa maori I really wanted to tell Māori stories and do that in te reo Māori and you know opportunities didn't work out that way but i'm still very passionate about it." 

Hunia was the only Māori to win an award at last night's event. 

Tune into Te Kāea tonight for the full story.