Taking top honours at the recent New Zealand Badminton YONEX NZ National Championships, ACG Parnell College student, Daniel Hu, won both the singles and doubles titles in the Boys Under 15 division.
Daniel has been playing competitive badminton for four years and this remarkable success marks the high point of his athletic career so far. Representing Auckland at the event, he encountered some formidable opponents on the court throughout the four-day competition, and believes the Singles final was his toughest contest to date.
“The Boy’s Under 15 Singles finals was the most challenging aspect of the tournament due to my opponent being physically stronger than me” Daniel reports. “I think I won most of my points by controlling the pace of the rallies as well as taking control of the net.”
A huge fan of the game, Daniel explains how he enjoys his time on court, regardless of whether he’s competing or simply practising the basics.
“I enjoy learning new techniques as well as polishing existing ones. Moving around the court and retrieving the shuttle is enjoyable for me. The badminton community is very nice. The coaches, as well as the players, are all very supportive.”
This talented athlete has his eyes firmly set on the future and believes his current success will help prepare him for upcoming pursuits. With plans to develop and extend his badminton skills, Daniel advises that his next sporting goal is to win the Under 17s National Title. “I don’t plan on stopping badminton anytime soon” he says.
Story courtesy of ACG Parnell College
, It’s secondary school sport’s awards season around the country, with the leading sports achievers currently being recognised throughout the regions that administer secondary school sport.
Napier Girls’ High School’s Black Sticks hockey player Kaitlyn Cotter won the Hawke’s Bay Supreme Award last week.
Similarly, Whangarei Boys' and Girls’ High School’s squash player Vette-Blomquist and water ski champion Courtney Williams won the respective boys and girls Northland overall honours.
Cyclists, Burnside High School's Sami Donnelly won the sportswoman category and Christchurch Boys’ High School’s Lawrence Pithie won the sportsman category at the annual Zonta Awards in Canterbury.
Other awards such as Auckland (14 November), Southland (this coming Thursday), Wellington (this coming Sunday) and Taranaki (15 November) are coming up, with nominations having been made.
We take a look at Wellington below, where the finalists will be announced this Thursday ahead of the awards ceremony at Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua.
Two features of the Wellington awards this year are the re-introduction of the Sports Hall of Fame and the apparent evenness of some of the awards.
There will be 10 new inductees into the Hall of Fame which features high achieving retired athletes who attended a Wellington secondary school. This makes the field broad and exceptional, but All Black Cory Jane, All Whites and Phoenix stalwarts Tim Brown and Leo Bertos and former World Mountain running champion Melissa Moon must be among the contenders.
In several categories, including the overall boys and girls Supreme Award categories, there appears to be fewer obvious winners than in recent years.
Past supreme gong winners have largely picked themselves, with recent winners such as Amelia Kerr (currently with the Brisbane Heat cricket team), Daniel Hillier (recently turned professional golfer) and Lewis Clareburt (Commonwealth Games swimming medallist), Liberato Cacace (All Whites and current Phoenix footballer) clear-cut winners.
Taking into account that success on the international stage is the most important consideration, then perhaps jumping out of the blocks as a favourite in the boys category is Clareburt’s Scots College alumni Edward Osei-Nketia, who recently represented New Zealand at the Senior World Championships after earlier winning both the NZ and Australian 100m titles.
Osei-Nketia’s stiffest competition for the Supreme Boys award could come from Hutt International Boys’ School footballer Ben Waine.
Waine was a member of the NZ U20 football team that played in Poland this year, is a member of the NZ U23 squad and made his Phoenix debut earlier this year.
The overall girls category winners could be between two individual sports girls, trumping others in team sports such as football and netball.
Wellington East Girls’ College’s Kirstie Rae would be a frontrunner, having won the New Zealand Secondary School cross country championships, and also taken out the Australian U20 cross country title and competing at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Denmark. Earlier in the year she broke the CSW Senior Girls 3000m record on the track.
Chilton St James swimmer Chelsey Edwards appears to be another fancied supreme accolade girls contender, having broken six long-standing Wellington age group records, winning multiple golds at schools, short course and long course swimming meets and part of the NZ team at the Fina World Swimming Championships in July.
Onslow College’s national U18 champion and world ranked junior table tennis player Hui Ling Vong should be in the mix as well.
What about other individual code winners?
Of the boys rugby union nominees, three players stand out as contenders, Aotea College’s Ropati So'oalo, HIBS’ Harrison Press and Scots College’s Roderick Solo.
Front rower Press was a recent member of the Barbarians Schools’ squad, while So’aolo is clearly one of the leading schoolboy rugby players in Wellington but failed to gain higher recognition in 2019 where as Solo was in the NZ Schools’ team and made the tournament team after last December’s Condor 7s nationals.
Earlier this year, Solo jumped 6.78m to break the CSW Senior Boys Long Jump record and also won the regional triple jump and 110m hurdles titles, but is not nominated in either the athletics or all-rounder of the year categories indicating he will be the rugby winner.
Newlands College halfback and NZ Maori U18 representative Milley Mackey and Aotea College and Northern United club player Harmony Hunter could be frontrunners to win the girls rugby accolade this year.
A new netball winner will be found after Wellington East’s Tiana Metarau won this in recent years. St Mary’s Beko League champion shooter Saviour Tui could be a frontrunner there.
Queen Margaret College’s Paris Lokotui is one of several other strong netball nominees, with Lokotui also a basketball nominee (and a gun sevens rugby player as she showed on Monday) and a finalist of the girls all-rounder award.
Futsal continues to grow, with Raphael Le'ai (Scots College) and Natalie Olson (Wellington East) likely frontrunners to win their awards. Both are accomplished footballers as well, with Le'ai the golden boot winner (9 goals) at the NZSS Football nationals and Olson helping her WEGC team to a creditable seventh at the NZSS Nationals.
Ben Waine (HIBS, above) and Wellington Girls’ College and NZ U17 footballer Charlotte Wilford-Carroll could be frontrunners to win the football.
Cricket winners this year could go to St Pat’s Silverstream’s NZ U19 player Ryan Jackson and Queen Margaret’s Wellington Blaze squad member Xara Jetly.
Scots College’s Boston Bright could have the credentials to win the boys bike category, although his school mate and recent NZSS Downhill mountain bike champion Albert Snep hasn’t been nominated.
Kapiti College sisters Kate and Millie Day are both up for the girls cycling gongs.
To view the full awards nominees in Wellington go HERE
Biathlon athlete Campbell Wright has been named to the New Zealand Team for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
The 17-year-old from Lake Hawea and Mount Aspiring College is the first athlete to be selected to the team, which will contest the Games from January 9th to 22nd.
Wright will compete in both the 7.5km sprint distance and the 12.5km individual distance at the Games.
“I’m pretty happy to say the least, it’s going to be awesome to be part of the New Zealand Team and I can't wait to compete in Lausanne,” said Wright.
Biathlon combines the power of cross-country skiing and the precision of rifle shooting in a timed race, where missed shots in the shooting component result in distance or time penalties.
Wright began cross country skiing at a young age and started competing in biathlon in 2017.
“I liked cross country skiing and so my coach Luca Boromilili basically just said why don’t you have a go at biathlon and it went from there.”
"I'm stronger at the skiing so I'm working hard to improve my shooting. The trick is not to overcook yourself before you get to the range, you need to chill and get your heart rate down before you start trying to hit the targets."
Wright spends the European winters training in Italy and competing around Europe.
When in New Zealand he trains at Snow Farm and says he gets a real buzz from the sport.
“I love it, it’s definitely unique and I get a pretty awesome feeling when I’m out there doing it.”
Wright was named Snow Sports New Zealand cross country skier of the year in 2016. Earlier this year, he placed third in his age group at the Alpencup in Ridnaun, Italy. It was the first time a New Zealand biathlon athlete had ever podiumed at a major European biathlon event.
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to Wright.
“Campbell has put in a lot of hard work to reach this point, he leaves for Italy later this week and will be continuing to train rigorously in the build-up to the Games.
“We look forward to seeing him represent New Zealand in Lausanne in January.”
Angus Cagney has been conditionally selected as a non-travelling reserve.
Around 15 New Zealand athletes are expected to compete at Lausanne 2020. 11 New Zealand athletes competed at the previous edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with four of those athletes going on to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Campbell Wright biography
Age at Games: 17
High School: Mt Aspiring College
Ethnicity: NZ European
Career highlight: 3rd place, Alpine Cup
How did you get into your sport: My coach Luca Boromilili got me into it. I liked cross country skiing and so he basically just said why don’t you have a go at biathlon and it went from there.
What do you love about the sport: There’s something about it, you get a great feeling from it and it’s quite a unique sport.
About the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games
Around 15 athletes are expected to make up the New Zealand Team for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
1800 athletes aged 15 to 18 will compete in eight sports from the 9th until the 22nd of January 2020 as part of the Games.
The athletes will compete across Switzerland, and neighbouring France, enabling many regions to be a part of the Olympic spirit.
11 New Zealand athletes competed at the previous edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, winning two medals. Four of the athletes went on to be selected for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Waikato claimed their first National Scholastic Surfing Championships title in eleven years today (Friday 11th October 2019) with the team claiming two of seven titles and boasting six surfers in the finals.
The five-day event wrapped up at Manu Bay, Raglan in the biggest surf of the week with a solid 1.5m swell and light onshore winds, the morning rain giving way to clear skies in the afternoon.
Waikato took the points lead early on the final day after a battle with Taranaki and Auckland who finished in second and third respectively. Waikato eventually surged ahead with close to a 1,000 point lead. The points difference between second through sixth was just 300 points, the equivalent of one placing in any of the finals.
Waikato’s two titles came from Kora Cooper in the Under 16 Boys Division and Navryn Malone in the Under 14 Boys Division.
Taranaki and Canterbury also claimed two titles apiece and the regions both shared the coveted Under 18 Division titles which went to Tom Butland (Tara) and Estella Hungerford (Chch).
Butland surfed up a division at the event allowing his team to have a more even spread of athletes and the tactical decision paid off for Taranaki.
“I’m pretty stoked aye, I wasn’t expecting to make the Under 18 Boys Final, everyone is so good in this division” said Butland.
Butland was trailing for much of the heat but posted an 8.15 point ride taking off 15 seconds before the hooter and his score not coming through until after the heat had finished flipping the final on its head.
“I asked Luke Griffin how much time there was left and Caleb what score I needed, I didn’t really know how long was left so I just gave it my all, I had really weak legs when I took off on that last wave, I was really nervous but I was pretty happy to clutch up and win” said Butland.
Butland’s wave pushed Caleb Cutmore (Rag) back into second place with Luke Griffin (Mnt) in third and Neko Tohiariki (Chch) in fourth.
Estella Hungerford put on a commanding performance in the Under 18 Girls Division Final finishing with a 16.0 point heat total, well out of reach for her opponents.
“I’m pretty stoked, I still can’t really believe it. I didn’t have much confidence going into this national event but the win is awesome and it will help me out going into the World Junior Championships at the end of the month too, so I’m looking forward to it now” said Hungerford.
Her big heat total came by way of some aggressive surfing in the big waves early in the heat.
“I hadn’t caught a wave then, so I was a bit stressed but I managed to land that big turn so I was stoked. I still can’t really believe it, it’s crazy, I didn’t really know I could surf like that in a comp” she added.
Hungerford’s opponents had to battle for the minor placings with Kai Woolf (Rag) claiming the runner up position ahead of Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in third and Gabrielle Paul (Auck) in fourth.
Kora Cooper (Rag) and Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) claimed the Under 16 Division titles, Cooper having a good battle with Tom Robinson (Whngrei) who placed second. Gouldsbury fought hard against Brie Bennett (Rag), holding down a slender lead for much of the final.
In the youngest divisions, Navryn Malone used his knowledge of Manu Bay to edge past Ryder Pennington (Tara) for the win while Ava Henderson (Chch) ran away with the Under 14 Girls Division title.
Auckland took two finalists into the longboard final and walked away with a first and a third, Ben Counsell getting the nod over Billy Whelan (Nrthlnd), Natt Fitt finishing in third and Sonny Eades (Mnt) finishing in fourth place.
The Adam Clegg Breakthrough Performance of the Event Award went to Ava Henderson (Chch) and Kalani Louis (Tara). Henderson was dominant throughout the week and took it all the way to the final with her first scholastic title. Louis also advanced through to the final of the Under 14 Boys Division and placed third behind Navryn Malone (Rag) and Ryder Pennington (Tara).
Please see below for final results from the 2019 National Scholastic Surfing Championships completed at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Friday 11th October).
1, Waikato, 8463
2, Taranaki, 7485
3, Auckland, 7305
4, Canterbury, 7265
5, Bay of Plenty, 7233
6, Northland, 7213
7, Gisborne, 6289
8, West Coast, 5133
9, Coromandel, 4959
10, Wellington, 4503
11, Hawkes Bay, 4025
Under 18 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.4, 1, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 10.5, 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 9, 3, Billy Gilbert (Nrthlnd), 6.35, 4
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 13.75, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.25, 2, Luis Southwood (Whaka), 8.46, 3, Josh Sheridan (Nel), 6.8, 4
Max Brunker (Nrthlnd), 7.55, 1, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 7.36, 2, Jack Lee (Whaka), 6.75, 3, William Van der Beek (Mnt), 6.15, 4
Under 18 Boys Division Semifinals
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 17.9, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.75, 2, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 7.75, 3
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.8, 1, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 8.25, 2, Max Brunker (Nrthlnd), 5.75, 3
Under 18 Boys Division Final
Tom Butland (Tara), 16.4, 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.0, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.7, 3, Neko Tohiariki (Chch)11.5, 4
Under 16 Boys Division Final
Kora Cooper (Rag), 13.75, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11.95, 2, Myka Black (Chch), 9.95, 3, Finn Vette (Gis), 9.55, 4
Under 14 Boys Division Final
Navryn Malone (Rag), 13.9, 1, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 13, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 9.25, 3, Izaak Hayes (Whngrei), 9.15, 4
Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Kai Woolf (Rag), 14.25, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 10.4, 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 7.8, 3
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 10.36, 1, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 9.75, 2, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 5.7, 3
Under 18 Girls Division Final
Estella Hungerford (Chch), 16.0, 1, Kai Woolf (Rag), 10.4, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 8.4, 3, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 6.75, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Semifinals
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 10.75, 1, Leah Wilson (Chch), 9, 2, Hannah King (Gis), 7.6, 3, Daizee Rawles (Gis), 6.46, 4
Brie Bennett (Rag), 13, 1, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 10.15, 2, Liv Haysom (Piha), 8.65, 3, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 8.25, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Final
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11.25, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 10.25, 2, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 7.5, 3, Leah Wilson (Chch), 6.3, 4
Under 14 Girls Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 12.75, 1, Anna Brock (Mnt), 8.5, 2, Amelie Brady (Mnt), 4.4, 3, Luka Glover (Rag), 0.04, 4
Under 18 Longboard Division Final
Ben Counsell (Auck), 13.1, 1, Billy Whelan (Nrthlnd), 10.65, 2, Nat Fitt (Auck), 9.85, 3, Sonny Eades (BOP), 6.3, 4
The National Scholastic Surfing Championships began in 1989. The event, which has unearthed two generations of top Kiwi talent, takes place all week at the famed Manu Bay location, home to the perfect left-hand point break.
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