2017 Sports Scholarship Recipients
West Auckland pre elite athletes receiving the Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation Sports Scholarships for 2017. 20 athletes have shown promise to perform at an elite level and have been given a helping hand to get there by the great support of the Waitakere Community.
Two times junior World Champion and former record holder, backstroker Gabrielle Fa’amausili is again a Don Oliver gold scholarship winner having represented New Zealand at the world championships, in July this year.
Her first ever elite event proved too big a step up but only by fractions of a second. She clocked 25.38s to be 24th fastest from 87 starters in heats of the 50m freestyle. Had she equalled her PB and been just 0.3 of second faster, she’d have made the top 16 in the world. Which is pretty good for a 17 year old in her first showdown with the big guns of the sport.
Inaugural Harry O'Rourke Memorial Award
Keegan Pitcher has won the inaugural Harry O’Rourke Memorial Award for an outstanding athlete with disabilities.
A relative newcomer to athletics. he entered his first international competition, at the World Paralympic Championships in the United Kingdom in July, bringing home a world ranking, a New Zealand record, bronze medals in the 400-metre T36 race (in record time) and in the 800m T36 race. He earned a world ranking with 7th in the 200m T36 race.
Keegan has cerebral palsy and competes in the T36 category for athletes with a disability affecting all four limbs.
New Zealand’s top young 1500 metre Freestyler on his day, Michael has represented New Zealand at a range of international swimming events, first at the 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games where he won Bronze.
Since then he has worn the silver fern at World Junior Championships, Commonwealth Youth Games (Finalist), Junior Pan Pacific Championships (Finalist & Medalist) and Youth Olympic Games (Finalist), the World University Games, and at the World Short Course Championships in Canada where he set yet another New Zealand record over 1500m.
He has recently returned from the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade and now has his sights set on the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Olympics.
Nicole Mettam’s steady upward path in women’s football has continued this year, with her U19 Women’s squad carrying off this year’s Oceania championship and earning a place in next year’s U20 World Cup Finals in France.
France will be Nicole’s second World Cup, having played every minute of last year’s U 17 World Cup in Jordan. The Kiwis beat the hosts 5 – 0, the biggest winning margin for any New Zealand team at a World Cup.
A three times member of Mt Albert Grammar’s First XI that won a record breaking 4th successive national title, Nicole was voted 2015’s MVP, by the opposition coaches.
Mikayla Woodham-Enosa is a champion Touch player who was: a member of Rangitoto College Senior Girls Team for 2010 – 2014; a North Harbour Open Womens’ rep, 2011-2013; a Counties Manukau Open Womens rep 2013 – 2017; Waitakere Maoris rep, 2016.
She was also a member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Tournament Team, 2011-2014 and Girls Grade MVP 2014; NZ U15 Girls Team 2014, the U19 Women’s Team (Super Trans-Tasman) 2013 and the U19 Womens’ Team (Youth Trans-Tasman), 2015; NZ Open Women’s Team (Trans-Tasman) 2016 and 2017.
Aaron Booth is one of the world’s most promising young decathletes, having placed 13th in the 2015 World University Games, where he was the youngest competitor and third at this year’s Australian Championships.
He aims to medal at this year’s University Games, qualifying for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 World Championships and then the 2020 Olympics. He also aims to beat the New Zealand record set almost 50 years ago, by his first coach, former west Aucklander, Roy Williams.
Kanah is New Zealand number 1 in the Youth & Junior U69kg, 69kg+ & U75kg Categories and has 74 U15, U17 & U20 New Zealand records. She was the first U15 lifter to break Junior U20 NZ Olympic records and will compete at Malaysia’s 2016 IWF Youth World Championships in October, her fifth IWF Youth World and Youth Commonwealth Championships.
Achievements this year include.
1st Auckland Regional Secondary School Champs
Best Female lifter , Auckland Region Secondary School Champs
North Island Olympic Weightlifting U75kg Champion
3rd Juniors Oceania Championships, Fiji
3rd Youths Oceania Championships, Fiji
- OWNZ Emerging High Performance Squad.
Samantha Tawharu is another New Zealand international Footballer alongside Nicole Mettam and rates her greatest achievement so far as scoring twice against Jordan at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup last year.
A member of the Football Ferns Development Squad she has also represented NZ in China and at the 2015 Oceania champs that doubles as world cup qualifiers.
She has played in Mt Albert Grammar teams that have won four consecutive national titles and her Milford Club winning the Club Knockout Cup in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and her league from 2012 through 2016.
George Smith has been excelling at swimming since taking up the sport at the age of 10.
Over the past three years he’s consistently been in New Zealand’s top three in his age group. He also holds five Auckland age group records in different events and distances. For the last two years he’s taken gold in the 100m Fly at the national age groups, and in the short course champs in 2015.
He also took gold in the 50m Fly and Free and the 100 m Free at the short course champs two years ago, and for two years took silver or bronze in the Free and the Fly in every distance from 50m to 200m.
Ikko Shibuya set the Auckland and the New Zealand Boys’ records for the 50m long course Butterfly at this year’s NZ Open and has been selected for NZ Development Squad and the team to contest this year’s Australian State Teams Age Short Course championships.
In 2014 as a 13 year old he took gold in the NZ Short Course 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m Free (and was 5th in the 50 Fly). In 2015 he took all the same golds and added the 50m and 100m Fly. In both years he set the Auckland record for the 50 Free.
His results were more mixed as age has advanced but he remains in the top three across all of these distances.
Wrestler Brahm Richards has a string of wrestling achievements on his CV.
He won gold in his division at last year’s Oceania Games, and this year he has blitzed the competition with gold at the Australian Open, and a gold and silver at the Oceania championships in Tahiti. Perhaps even more impressive he placed 9th in the Journeyman World Classic in New York.
In 2014 as the national champion, he represented the country in the 2014 Youth Olympics in Beijing.
He’s now chasing gold at December’s Commonwealth Championships in South Africa with a view to the Commonwealth Games next year and the Olympics in 2020.
Matthew Oxenham has won multiple national and school titles as perhaps the country’s outstanding young Greco-Roman wrestler.
He was Cadet Freestyle champion ins 2014 and 2015 and stepped up to Junior champion last year. In 2017 he won gold at Secondary Schools’ Tournament in the U85kg division and junior gold also at the North Island tournament.
He is captain of Sport and a Prefect at Rutherford College.
KaHana Ngawati-Glassie is already a world champion at 16, having been part of Waitakere Outrigger Canoe Club’s waka ama team that won two gold medals and a silver in last year’s world waka ama club sprint championships on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.
The team won the J16s 500m W12 (12 paddler) final and the j16s 1000m w6 (6 paddlers) final and taking silver in the j16s w6 500 m final. This crew was made Sport Waitakere’s Junior Sports team of the Year for 2016.
KaHana has been a member of national champion teams for the last three years.
Diver Nathan Brown is arguably the country’s top platform diver who won an Overcoming Adversity Award for coming back after damaging a wrist and a knee which kept him out of all competition in 2016.
In 2015 at the Dresden International Diving Championships he qualified for the finals in 12th place and moved up to finish 10th overall.
Current goals include breaking the national 16-18 years diving record, and qualifying for next year’s Youth Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Inspired by fellow scholarship winner Aaron Booth, Liam White is a multi-event athlete focussing on the Heptathlon but looking to step up to the decathlon.
This year he won the U15 Heptathlon national championship in Australia and the Auckland Junior Pentathlon title He captained the Auckland team to the 12/13th grade National Inter-provincial champs. The team took gold and Liam won the long jump, was second in the 80m hurdles and 3rd in the shot. At other tournaments he has consistently placed first in the 80 metres hurdles, long jump, shot and javelin. At others, he’s taken silver or bronze.
He is Waitakere Athletics Club 13th grade champion and best all round male athlete with four club records.
Yzabelle Tevao is already a Basketball world youth champion having sunk the most individual free throws at last year’s World Youth Tournament in Hawaii, where NZ came third.
From here she progressed to the national U16 team that played in Melbourne in the middle of this year. She made her way to the national sides by way of St Dominics College teams, her club Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Inc (WWABI), Waitakere Auckland Lady Rangers and 3x3 “street basketball” in which she has been (and is) a member of champion sides.
She is captain for St Dominic’s Open Girls Basketball teamand coaches the St Dom’s year 7 and 8 basketball teams.
League player Jack Rouden is considered by his school and his rugby league coaches, as the “complete package” with skill, attitude, commitment and work ethic on and off the field.
He has twice been Henderson High School’s Junior Sportsman of the year and a member of the NZ Oceania Heritage Cup winning Tag Team last year.
Jack was most improved player for the Waitemata Seagulls in 2014 and player of the year last year, as well as being captain of his team. He was also chosen for the All Things League development programme last summer and given leadership roles. The Seagulls describe him as promising and gifted and “at his best when his best is needed”.
Surf-lifesaver Lucy Makaea already has an impressive record medalling in every race she entered at this year’s National Surf-lifesaving Pool Championships before going on to win seven medals on the beach at the Nationals in Christchurch.
It was an all-round performance that earned her a place in the New Zealand youth squad. From this platform she’s looking to win selection to next year’s Northern Regional team, and to the New Zealand youth team to compete at the World Championships in Adelaide with the goal of bringing home two medals.
Possible future Black Caps’ bowler Sam Cook has astonishing best figures of eight wickets for seven runs off four overs meaning he took a wicket for every three balls he bowled.
A Western Districts Rep for the last two years and has won the MVP award at his club and his school for the last two years. Right now he’s aiming to improve his body strength to the point where he can deliver at 150kph. If he achieves it, it will put him amongst the world’s fastest and anything over 140 would, in most years, put him forward for the Black Caps.
National champion wrestler, Hunter Challis took gold at the 2016 Oceania Championship in the the 2016 Greco/Roman discipline and silver in the Freestyle discipline.
He’s aiming to reclaim his national title this year as well as competing as part of the New Zealand team in the Down Under championships in Australia followed by next year’s Youth World championships.