The annual NZDF Sports Awards for 2011 were announced at a function on Friday 25 May.
NZ Defence Force sports awards 2011, Vice Chief Defence Force, Rear Admiral Jack Steer with SQNLDR Lyn Coromandel, WGCDR Kelvin Read and Hamish Carter
The NZDF Outstanding Sportsperson of the Year is: CPL Eugene Hepi of the Army, whose chosen sport is Touch Rugby, where he has represented the NZ Army, NZDF, Manawatu Region and New Zealand. He has coached the NZ Army Open Men’s team; last June he was selected to attend the 2011 International Federation of Touch World Cup in Scotland in the NZ Mixed 30’s team. He demonstrates commitment as a player, mentor and coach; through his achievements, passion, athletic ability and support to the code.
The other nominee was LAC Amy Hatcher whose chosen sport is Full Bore Rifle Shooting.
The Individual Sportsperson of the Year is: SGT Leo Wiapo who represents both the NZDF and RNZAF in Basketball. He captained and coached the RNZAF Woodbourne Basketball team in the top Marlborough Basketball division. The RNZAF team won Inter-Services and Leo’s leadership and dominance on the court led him to be appointed vice captain of the NZDF Men’s team and captain on the court. He plays as a member of the Marlborough Magic provincial team.
The other nominees were CPOSA Daniel Mau’afu who captained the RNZN Dolphins rugby league team, and WO2 Greg Mildon who has represented NZDF and NZ Army Touch rugby as a player, coach, manager, and administrator.
The Sports Official of the Year is: Flight Sergeant Michael Thomas who has been involved in Softball as a coach, committee member and mentor for Base Ohakea, the RNZAF and the NZDF. He has been selector for the RNZAF and took on the role of coach for NZDF where he guided his team to a victory over the ADF Softball team.
The other nominees were CPOMED Simon Vissers, RNZN Rugby Football, and SGT Rebecca Dymock, Army Softball.
The NZDF Sports Team of the Year is: NZDF Men’s Hockey. The NZDF men’s Hockey team has gone from strength to strength and continue to perform to the highest standards. In 2011 NZDF Hockey toured to Australia to compete in a three match Trans-Tasman test series. Four games were played in five days and the NZDF team won all four games.
The other nominees were NZDF Rugby League and the NZDF Men’s Softball team.
The Sports Award luncheon was hosted by COL Howard Duffy, with VCDF representing CDF. The guest speaker was NZ Olympian Hamish Carter, who gave an entertaining yet insight-full speech about the challenge of climbing back from failure, to win.
The NZDF Sports Committee Executive thanks the following organisations for their continued support to the NZDF Sports Awards:
Lumley General Insurance
Hills Hats ltd
Armed Forces Canteen Council