Sporting stars added to walk

Doug Mienie has officially represented New Zealand in three sports; judo, bodybuilding ad powerlifting. He placed second in freestyle wrestling in 1980 and also won two gold medals for swimming at the Masters’ Games in 2009.

Five outstanding sportspeople – and a horse –  will be publicly recognised later this year with inclusion in Cambridge’s prestigious Walks of Fame.

Rowers Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, BMX star Sarah Walker, squash champion Joelle King and outstanding sportsman Doug Mienie will have bronze plaques added to the footpath in Duke St, Cambridge.  They will join 35 other plaques already there, recognising Cambridge’s internationally lauded sports stars in codes ranging from ploughing to polo. The last inductee was Amigene Metcalfe in 2014, recognised for her achievements in touch and netball.

At the same time, the late trotter Sovereignty will be recognised with his own mosaic on the Cambridge Equine Walk Hall of Fame. Sovereignty will join other horses including broodmare Eight Carat, double Olympic equestrian champion Charisma and sire Sir Tristram.

Sovereignty (Champion Standardbred Trotter) owned by Charlie Hunter (ONZM) and Annette Hunter and trained by Sean McCaffrey. Wins include the Group 1 Great Northern Trotting Derby, the Group 1 NZ Sires Stakes Three-Year-Old Trotters Championship Final and the Harness Jewels Three-Year-Old Ruby Trot in Cambridge. Voted 2007/08 Three-Year-Old Trotter of the Year. Runner-up in the Group 1 Glenferrie Farms Australia/NZ Challenge in Sydney and third in the Group 1 Inter-Dominion Trotters Grand Final in Melbourne. Won 28 times with 34 placings and $780,386 in stakes. Retired from racing in April 2014, died in September 2014 at age 10.

Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the district was “awash” with outstanding sportspeople who had achieved remarkable things internationally.

“For a small district, we punch well above our weight in terms of international sporting prowess . If any district has earned the label Home of Champions, it is Waipa,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to know you can walk down the street here and find yourself next to Olympic gold medallists and world champions across a huge range of codes.  That’s something really special for this community and particularly fantastic for our young people who are are surrounded by role models and can see what can be achieved if you put the work in.”

The mayor also paid tribute to Waipa’s equine industry and all those who work in it, noting Waipa was globally recognised for producing world-class thoroughbred horses.

A civic function for inductees, friends and family will be held later this year at the same time the plaques and new mosaic are installed.

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