By Ricky Lam
Track cyclist Lily Cawood was among the award winners when the 2021 Waipā Youth Awards were announced online.
This year’s awards attracted 97 nominations and 52 awards were made.
The awards are open to students aged 14-18 who live or have attended school in Waipā. The Cambridge based cyclist, a St Peters student, is regarded as one the country’s bright stars on the track.
St Peter’s Cambridge’s Ruoan Wang was recipient of the Academic award sponsored by University of Waikato, while Miranda McArthur, also of St Peter’s, received the Arts & Culture award.
The Leadership award sponsored by Cambridge Rotary & Construction Advantage Ltd went to Hunter Ludlum of Cambridge High School.
Lily Cawood and Sophie De Vries broke the Under-17 500m team sprint record in 2020 and by breaking the under 17 record for the 500m team sprint with her St. Peters school teammates Sophie De Vries in 2020 and she plans to train full time next year at the Velodrome.
Cawood is an all-round sports person, having been also involved in the school’s equestrian academy, football, rowing and swimming.
“I’m grateful to St Peter’s for giving me the opportunities to have a go at a sport I never really saw myself pursuing,” she said.
The decision to move the award ceremony online did not worry her – she felt more for her grandparents who missed the chance to see her collect her award.
“My grandparents have been huge supporters of mine, and always love to come to watch me with whatever sport I am involved in at the time.”
Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest said having the awards ceremony cancelled for a second successive year was unfortunate but necessary.
“It’s a real shame that we need to cancel the awards evening, however we still want to make sure our exceptional young people are celebrated as they have contributed so much to our schools and communities over the last year.”
The 2021 Waipā Youth Awards list is:
Excellence, Ruoan Wang (St Peters). Merit, Isabelle Da Cunha Fernandez (Sacred Heart) Stephen Ng, Umika Sadani (St Peters) Caitlin Stewart (Cambridge High) Oksana Voznyuk, Brianna Walker, Megan Walker, Matthew Yarndley (Te Awamutu College).
Arts & Culture
Excellence, Miranda McArthur (St Peters). Merit, Lauren Bell, Elaine Li, Andrew Qiu (St Peters) MJ Neethling (Te Awamutu College). Achieved, Meghana Gaddam, Jamal Robertson (St Peters)
Excellence, Billie Brown-Wahanui (Te Awamutu College). Merit, Gemma Aveyard (Cambridge High). Achieved, Kirsty Henderson, Bella Illston (St Peters).
Excellence, Hunter Ludlum (Cambridge High). Merit, William Crofsky (Cambridge High) Sophie Waddell (St Peters) Kate Yarndley (Te Awamutu College). Achieved, Jack McLean (St Peters) Tommy O’Brien (Cambridge High) Troy James (Te Awamutu).
Excellence, Oksana Voznyuk (Te Awamutu College). Merit, William Crofsky, Hunter Ludlam (Cambridge High) Sophie Waddell (St Peters). Achieved, Gemma Aveyard, Hinewai Knowles, Tommy O’Brien (Cambridge High).
Excellence, Jack Carswell, Maui Morrison, Andrew Syme (Cambridge High). Merit, Lily Cawood, Taiana Day, Jack Greenough, Ryan Hansen (St Peters) Seana Gray, Alistair Hearmon, Hinewai Knowles, Abby Pierce, Leila Walker, Levi Wesford (Cambridge High), Atlanta Ieremia Bruce, Annalies Kalma, Alana Paewai, Breeje Schuler, Oliver Watson-Palmer (St Peters)