SunLive – Achievements celebrated at the Zespri BOP Rugby Awards

Black marlin, swordfish and yellowfin tuna hung on the walls of the Whakatane Fishing Club as hundreds of people arrived to celebrate the annual Bay of Plenty 2021 rugby awards.

With Whale Island and the Pacific Ocean serving as the backdrop for a night of celebration and remembrance, a crowded venue of elegantly dressed volunteers, sponsors and top athletes mingled and mingled before taking their seats.

Bay of Plenty-based Local Gecko Productions was on standby with live streaming cameras at the start of the proceedings. A moving karakia from former Bay of Plenty Steamers coach Matt Te Pou kicked off the evening. The night was officially on.

“Trailblazer” has perhaps been the euphemism given by many to describe the recipients and winners of the community awards, none more deserving than head coach Rotoiti Victoria Grant, who won the Coach’s Award. year of the Farmlands Club.

Victoria’s feat can hardly be underestimated, becoming the first coach to lead a top men’s rugby team in the Bay of Plenty.

“I want to thank the Rotoiti Premier Men for supporting me and trusting me this year. It was huge for me,” said Victoria.

Other community winners include the FMG Rugby Bon Tri recipient Mitchell Brown of Greerton Marist, as well as Trident High School who have won back-to-back awards including the Toi Ohomai School Program and Coach of the Year awards.

The evening’s high performance segment was dominated by three names who stole the show. Justin Sangster of Bay of Plenty Steamers made the most of his remarkable first professional season by winning three separate awards, including the First Mortgage Trust Steamers Forward of the Year, The Steamers Player’s Player of the Year and the Whakatane Council Sports Person of the Year awards.

“It’s an honor to receive this award. This year has been a surprise, and it all happened very quickly for me,” said Justin.

Kendra Reynolds has won two awards, winning the DVS Volcanix Player of the Year and the Zespri Supreme Award.

The Zespri Supreme Award is the highest honor one can receive. It rewards the greatest sporting achievement of the year, chosen among all the winners of the evening.

Kendra was recognized for her incredible season with the Bay of Plenty Volcanix, leading their squad as co-captain, which resulted in her being selected to the Black Ferns squad for their year-end tour. Kendra listened to the livestream direct from the UK where she is currently with the Black Ferns.

“And finally, the achievements of longtime Bay of Plenty Rugby Union member Rodney Gibbs must be recognized once again,” said a spokesperson for Bay of Plenty Rugby.

Rodney received the Lion Foundation Representative Coach of the Year award in his final year with the Bay as he takes on a new role in the women’s rugby space with New Zealand Rugby.

“Rodney was a pioneer and the backbone of women’s rugby in the Bay of Plenty. Her tireless work and efforts have helped break the glass ceiling of women’s football in the Bay of Plenty.

“His contribution to rugby can hardly be underestimated, and we wish him all the best in his new rugby venture.

“A big thank you to everyone who made this event possible with a special thank you to our main sponsor Zespri,” said a spokesperson for Bay of Plenty Rugby. “Without your support this wonderful celebration of rugby’s achievements in the Bay of Plenty would not be possible.”

Zespri Prize for Service to Sport:
Tony Dunlop – Bay of Plenty Rugby Referee

Toi Ohomai High School Year Program:
Trident High School

Toi Ohomai High School Coach of the Year:
Brett Wharewera – Trident High School

Grass Roots Trust Director of the Year:
Jodi Hepburn – Whakarewarewa

FMG Rugby Good Kinds:
Mitchell Brown – Greerton Marist

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Player of the Year:
Lisa Egberts – Mount Maunganui

Farmlands Men’s Player of the Year:
Mathew Wallis – Te Puke Sports

Farmlands Club Coach of the Year:
Victoria Grant – Rotoiti

Farmlands Cooperative Club Team of the Year:
Mount Maunganui Premier Women

Club R80 ​​of the year:
Marist of Greerton

A Foundation U16 Girls Player of the Year:
Harata Heyblom

Toi Ohomai U18 Girls Player of the Year:
Santo Taumata to be confirmed

WAPS Bay of Plenty Toa Player of the Year (U19):
Lesen Huiarangi

Return of the Year DVS Volcanix:
Kanyon paul

DVS Volcanix Benefit of the Year:
Kelsie Wills

DVS Volcanix team award (player of the year):
Luka Connor

DVS Volcanix Player of the Year:
Kendra reynolds

Craigs Investment Partners Steamers Rookie of the Year:
Nikora Broughton

TECT Award for Player Community Service:
Naitoa Ah Kuoi

Steamers Personality of the Year Award:
Emoni narawa

First Mortgage Trust Steamers Forward of the Year:
Justin sangster

First Mortgage Trust Steams of the Year:
Leroy carter

Steamers Team Award (Players Player of the Year):
Justin sangster

Steamers Warrior of the Year:
Angus Scott-Young

Three Dukes Homes Steamers Player of the Year:
Aidan Ross

NZCT Representative Team of the Year:
Bay of Plenty Toa Team

Representative of the Lion Foundation Coach of the Year:
Rodney Gibbs

Whakatane Council Sports Person of the Year (chosen from among all Player Award winners):
Justin sangster

Zespri Supreme Award (chosen from all player, coach and referee awards):
Kendra reynolds

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