Monday, July 15, 2024

Howick Sports Awards: Athlete of the Year finalists 

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Sander Waterland of the Bucklands Beach AFC has been nominated for Sportsman of the year.

This week the Times looks at all athletes nominated for the following five Howick Sports Awards categories; Sportsman/Sportswoman of the year, Junior Sportsman/Sportswoman of the year, Master of the year and Internationalist of the year.

Each finalist gets a free ticket to the awards. If you have been nominated, please let Michael Bongiovanni know by emailing

Tickets to the event are $50, which includes dinner and a drink and can be purchased via the link

Looking at the awards as a whole, there were 97 nominations over the 15 different categories, representing 33 clubs or schools. This is the most nominations in the history of the awards.

Note: The period of achievements to be considered for the nominees falls between April 1, 2022, and March 31 2023.

Sportswoman of the year: 

Lili Tokaduadua (Netball) 

Part of the prestigious Howick College Premier Netball side, Tokaduadua was selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools (NZSS) in 2022 and 2023.  She also trained with and had court time for the Northern Stars in the ANZ Premiership.

Lili Tokaduadua.

Her efforts have landed her a full ANZ Premiership contract with the Northern Stars for 2024.

Olivia Rooney (Triathlon) 

Rooney won gold in the U19 category at the New Zealand Secondary School Triathlon Championship earlier this year. She also won gold at the NZSS Duathlon in August last year.

Rooney was named young sportswoman of the year in the Triathlon category at the 2022 College Sport Auckland awards.

Zoe Benson (Football) 

A youngster with the Eastern Suburbs AFC, Benson was a member of the NZ team at the 2022 U17 Women’s Football World Cup.

Her efforts during the tournament led to her selection in the U-19 NZ Women’s Football team.


Sportsman of the year:  

Huw Davies (Softball) 

A member of the Howick Softball Premier Men, Huw Davies notched up 100 games this year.

He was named in the U23 New Zealand Major Sox team to compete at the WBSC U-23 Men’s Softball World Cup in April.

Sander Waterland (Football) 

Sander Waterland.

A goal-scoring machine for the Bucklands Beach AFC Premier men, Waterland won the Northern Region Football League (NRFL) Div2 Golden Boot award for the 2022 season with 18 goals.

Toby Batchelor (Athletics) 

At the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships in August last year, Batchelor took home the silver medal in the senior men 8.6km distance.

He also featured in the nine-strong New Zealand team to compete at the inaugural World Mountain Running and Trail Championships in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Wendell Stanley (Boxing)

Wendell Stanley.

Revill’s Boxing Gym fighter Wendell Stanley had tremendous success last year, racking up a number of accolades.

Stanley competed in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, coming away with a fifth overall placing in his 71kg division out of 21 boxers.

He also won gold medals at the Golden Gloves in June 2022 and Boxing New Zealand National Championships in October.


Junior Sportswoman of the year (U19):  

Ayaan Lambat (Cricket) 

Ayaan Lambat.

A young cricketing prodigy, Lambat featured in the Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club’s (HPPC) Premier Women that won Pearl Dawson T20 championship.

At 14-years-old Lambat featured in the Auckland District’s tournament for the Manukau U17 women’s side where she had an impressive few games, most notably taking six wickets for six runs against Waitemata.

Braxton Sorenson-McGee (Howick Hornets Rugby League) 

At only 16-years-old, Braxton Sorenson-McGee is already a premier representative in both rugby league and union codes.

It is hard to comprehend her achievements in 2022, which include multiple MVP awards and representative honours. Two of her most notable achievements last season were being selected in the Fetu Samoa U16s Team and being named the NZ Rugby League U16 Player of the Year.

Danielle Asiata (Swimming) 

Danielle Asiata.

Out of the Howick Pakuranga Swim Club (HPK), it’s hard to name an event that Asiata has not won a medal in.

At the NZ Short Course Champs in August 2022, Asiata claimed 5 individual age group titles and one open title.

Her consistent efforts led to her selection as one of 12 swimmers to race for NZ at the 2023 Youth Commonwealth Games.

Jessica Ready (Skateboarding) 

Local skater Jessica Ready won the women’s section at the New Zealand X Air competition in August last year at the age of 12.

Ready, a gymnast from the age of two, started skating in 2019.

Lili Tokaduadua (Netball) 

See Sportswoman of the Year category.

Olivia Lin (Gymnastics) 

Oliva Lin’s nomination comes on the back of her efforts with Macleans College at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in May last year.

Lin achieved 2nd overall [6th hoop, 1st ball, 1st clubs, 2nd ribbon].

Olivia Rooney (Triathlon) 

See Sportswoman of the Year category.


Junior Sportsman of the year (U19): 

Antonie Smal (Athletics) 

Pakuranga Athletic Club’s Antonie Smal was crowned national champion in the men’s U18 Javelin at the NZ Track and Field Championships in March this year.

This came after he achieved second place in the senior boys’ javelin event at the NZSS athletics champs in December.

Finn Wilson (Cycling) 

Finn Wilson.

Macleans College cycler Wilson narrowly missed out on winning the U20 National Hill Climb in the Cycling New Zealand Northern Tour.

He finished just 0.87 seconds away from nabbing the national jersey. It was also his first year competing in this age group.

Ian Tauaika (Boxing) 

Another fighter out of Revill’s Boxing Gym, Ian Tauaika won gold at the 2022 Boxing New Zealand National Championships in his 75kg Youth Male category.

Tauaika was also selected for the Auckland Boxing team.

Jordan Jones (Golf) 

Jordan Jones.

A young golf prodigy following in the footsteps of Beachlands’ own Ryan Fox, Jordan Jones has racked up a raft of accolades.

Jones’ most notable efforts include winning the 2022 Auckland Golf Men’s Provincial Match Play Championship and captaining the winning Auckland team at the 2022 Junior Golf Inter-Provincial Teams Championship.

All this while still a student at Botany Downs Secondary College (BDSC).

Noah Retford (Athletics) 

At the NZSS athletics championships in December, racing for Botany Downs Secondary College, Retford won silver in the junior boys’ 100-metre hurdles and bronze in the junior boys’ 300-metre hurdles.

He competed for the Pakuranga Athletic Club NZ Track and Field Championships in March and walked away as a national champion in the men’s U18 300m hurdles.


Master of the year: 

Rachel Penney (Athletics and Football)  

A dual nomination for her efforts with the Pakuranga Athletic Club and Bucklands Beach AFC, 2022 was Rachel Penney’s first year playing sport in four years.  

Penney was a stalwart for BBAFC’s ‘Foxes’ side who won their league title in the very last game of the season.  

In athletics, Penney competes in the masters women (45-49) category. She managed to win every event she entered apart from one in which she placed second.  

The full list of her results is;
• Auckland Cross-Country Grand Prix Race 2 (1st)
• Auckland Cross-Country Grand Prix 4 (1st)
• Auckland Cross-Country Championship (1st)
• Auckland Road Championship (1st)
• North Island Cross-Country Championship (1st)
• Athletics Auckland Masters Women 2022/23 Grand Prix Series winner
• New Zealand Cross Country Champs (2nd)


Internationalist of the year:  

Patrick Holmes (Special Olympics Howick Pakuranga) 

Patrick Holmes.

Local athlete Patrick Holmes was selected to represent New Zealand in several top-class powerlifting events.

Holmes’ most notable performance was at the 2022 Commonwealth Powerlifting competition, where he came away with one silver and three bronze medals.

He recorded two personal bests (PBs) and an equal PB in his events.

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