Another champion All Black has scored the supreme Alby Pryor award for top Maori sportsperson for the second year in a row.
Rugby World Cup victor Piri Weepu took out the Senior Maori Sportsman title before being named Albie Pryor Memorial Maori Sportsperson of the Year at an Auckland black-tie ceremony tonight (December 3 2011).
All Black Hosea Gear took out the supreme prize in 2010.
Te Tohu Taakaro o Aotearoa hosted the 21st National Maori Sports Awards at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau.
In an article in UK newspaper The Telegraph on the eve of the Rugby World Cup final – ‘Rugby World Cup 2011: Haka leader Piri Weepu becomes the focus of attention in New Zealand’s battle’ – rugby writer Brendan Gallagher wrote:
“He not only represents the New Zealand; he is the Maori heart and soul of an All Blacks team, an individual who brings great pride in the considerable Maori hinterland of New Zealand rugby.
“The way he steadied the New Zealand ship has seen him morph into a superman figure in the adoring local press and poignancy was added to the Weepu story when he walked off the pitch after kicking seven penalties to defeat the Pumas only to be told that his much loved grandfather, Billy, had just died.
“He jetted down to Wellington and on to his home village of Wainuiomata to help organise the funeral but returned in time for the semi-final against Australia. This man is everywhere.”
The annual event – established by the late Albie Pryor – fosters, promotes and encourages Maori sportspeople in the pursuit of excellence.
The 2011 award recipients are:
ALBIE PRYOR MAORI SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR – Rongomaraeroa: Piri Weepu (Te Whakatohea, Ngai Tahu) – rugby
SENIOR MAORI SPORTSMAN – Te Tama-a-Tanenuiarangi: Piri Weepu (Te Whakatohea, Ngai Tahu) – rugby
SENIOR MAORI SPORTSWOMAN – Hineahuone: Lisa Carrington (Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki) – canoeing
JUNIOR MAORI SPORTSMAN – Te Tama-a-Ranginui: Trent Woodcock-Takurua (Ngapuhi) – BMX
JUNIOR MAORI SPORTSWOMAN – Te Tamahine-a-Papatuanuku: Thea Awhitu (Taranaki Tuturu) – boxing
MAORI WORLD CHAMPIONS IN TEAMS AWARDS – All Blacks, Rugby World Cup: Piri Weepu (Te Whakatohea; Ngai Tahu); Israel Dagg (Ngati Kahungunu); Richard Kahui (Ngati Maniapoto); Zac Guildford (Ngati Kahungunu); Aaron Cruden (Ngati Raukawa); Corey Jane (Ngati Kahungunu; Te Atiawa); Corey Flynn (Ngai Tahu); Hosea Gear (Ngati Porou)
MAORI WORLD CHAMPION AWARDS: Jason Wynyard (Ngati Maniapoto; Ngapuhi) – woodchopping; Luke Thompson (Ngapuhi) – tae kwon do karate; Sam Sutton (Te Arawa; Ngati Tuwharetoa) – extreme white water kayaking; Chelsea Marriner (Ngati Ruanui) – dog agility; Jayne Parsons (Taranaki) – tandam cycling; Lisa Carrington (Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki) – canoeing; Jan Khan (Ngati Rangitihi) – lawn bowls
MAORI WORLD CHAMPIONS IN TEAMS AWARDS: Reuben Te Rangi (Ngapuhi) – 3 x 3 basketball
MAORI SPORTS MEDIA AWARD – Whakapaaoho Reo o Hinepukohurangi: Maori Television/Te Reo – 2011 Rugby World Cup Final
MAORI SPORTS COACH – Te Maru o Tumatauenga: John Love (Te Atiawa) – softball
MAORI SPORTS TEAM – Nga Ika a Whiro: Jason and Karmyn Wynyard (Ngati Maniapoto, Ngapuhi) – Jack ‘n’ Jill Saw
MAORI UMPIRE/REFEREE – Te Aratiatia: Miah Williams (Ngati Tamatera; Ngati Hako) – touch
DISABLED MAORI SPORTSPERSON – Te Toihuarewa: Jayne Parsons (Taranaki) – tandem cycling
MAORI SPORTS ADMINISTRATOR – Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga: Tony Kemp (Te Atiawa) – rugby league
Maori Television will screen a delayed broadcast on Saturday December 10 from 8.30 PM.