Topic: Softball

Sorenson tipped for top Hutt accolade

By Eru Paranihi
  • Wellington

Black Sox coach Mark Sorenson is tipped to be the big winner at this year's Hutt Valley Sports Awards in Lower Hutt. 

Last year, the Hutt Valley-based coach lead his team to a seventh world title in Canada. 

For a man who has achieved a lot in softball, nothing comes close to being recognised by his own people. 

Says Sorenson, "Any time you receive an award, it's always special because it always captures a special moment in your life."

The Black Sox coach has won five titles- dating back to 1984 as a 16-year old- as a coach and a player.  Part of that success is attributed to the relationship he has with players, coaching staff and personnel. 

Black Sox captain Nathan Nukunuku (Ngāti Porou) says, "He commands a lot of respect, and holds a lot of mana in our sport."  

"He's done everything in the game, he's won everything in the game," says Black Sox pitcher Kallan Compain. 

"He can get along with anybody, but [is] very welcoming for any new guy that comes into the team," says infielder Thomas Enoka (Ngāpuhi) who was given the role of stand-in captain last year. 

Sorenson missed out at the Halberg Awards for coach of the year, but this award would put that disappointment to rest. 

"If that was to happen- and we're still in a hypothetical situation- it would be another shared experience with the people that were there with me to enjoy it," says Sorenson.  

Says Nukunuku, "Any awards or accolades that come to individuals that have been a part of the Black Sox legacy is a bonus for everyone."

He's been impressed with the calibre that has turned out to Fraser Park in Lower Hutt, but also surprised by the results, despite games being affected by the rain. 

"Papanui beat Auckland United.  Auckland United are the number three-ranked team going in, and Papanui were sort of eighth, or ninth." 

The Hutt Valley sports awards are in May, which is plenty of time for judges to decide if this Black Sox stalwart is worthy of the accolade.