Cambridge sport stars shine at regional awards

Cambridge sportspeople had more than one reason to celebrate on the night. Pictured is the Secondary School Sportsman of the Year Finn Fisher-Black and Secondary school Sportswoman of the Year Charlisse Leger-Walker (third and fourth from left) along with members of the 2018 St Peter’s girls under 18 rowing eight, from left, Morgan Blind, Kaylin Wren, Becki Leigh, Brooke Kilmister and Brie Perry. Absent: Katie Bell, Anna Cairns and Amy Butler.

Twelve Cambridge locals scooped five of the top awards at the 2018 Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards on Friday night.

Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year went to cyclist Sam Gaze and squash player Joelle King respectively, whilst Secondary School Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year went to St Peter’s students Charlisse Leger-Walker and Finn Fisher-Black.

A few more St Peter’s athletes were awarded on the night, the school’s girls u18 rowing eight of Brie Perry, Brooke Kilmister, Morgan Blind, Katie Bell, Anna Cairns, Beckie Leigh, Amy Butler and Kaylin Wren being awarded the Secondary School Team of the Year Award. The team won the prestigious Levin Jubilee Cup at last year’s Maadi Cup – the national secondary school rowing champs, and won the Senior Womens’ Eight at the New Zealand Club Nationals.

“To win one of the categories at this event is a terrific achievement – but to win all three is very special and it has never happened before,” said St Peter’s Director of Sport Nic Slade. “They are fantastic examples of what hard work, dedication and resilience can achieve when combined with talent and inspirational coaches.”

The school’s 2018 head girl Charlisse Leger-Walker, became the youngest ever member of the Tall Ferns Basketball team last year, winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games. She also captained the New Zealand U17 team at the 2018 FIBA World Cup, becoming one of the leading individual scorers of the tournament.

Finn Fisher-Black had a very successful year last year, winning gold at the 2018 Junior Track Cycling World Championships in the Team Pursuit and winning silver in the Open 25km Madison at the Elite National Track Cycling Championships.

Joelle King made huge gains in 2018, winning gold medals in both the singles and doubles at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, as well as bronze in the mixed doubles. She was also the Cleveland Classic 2018 winner and Windy City Open runner up.

Sam Gaze enjoyed a victorious 2018 too, winning gold at the Elite Men’s World Cup Round 1 MTB Cross Country, and another gold medal in the Elite Men’s Commonwealth Games MTB Cross Country, along with first place finishes in the Elite Men’s World Cup MTB Cross Country short track series. Sam was also second in the Oceania Elite Men Cross Country Championships.

Both King and Gaze weren’t present to accept their awards on the night, instead accepted on their behalf by Bruce Morgan of Squash Waikato and Jacques Landry from Cycling New Zealand.

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