Ōtaki siblings Pounamu and Kaahurere MacKay (left) were named joint winners of the Sportsman of the Year at the Wairarapa Maori Sports Awards held at the Copthorne Resort in Masterton recently.
Being established to celebrate and encourage sporting achievement in Maori who whakapapa to, or have played sport in Wairarapa region, the awards cover a wide range of categories including individual, team, coaching and administration.
Representing Ngati Kahungunu and Ngai Tumapuhia-a-Rangi, 9 year old Kaahurere took out the Tai tamariki Tane ( Junior Male) award in recognition of his achievements in being steerer for the National Waka Ama sprint Champion midget boys team, and in Taekwondo where he was ranked number 1 in New Zealand.
Older Sister Pounamu won the Tai Tamariki Wahine (Junior Female) award for her success in winning the New Zealand Tae Kwon Do Champs for her age group and winning a bronze medal in the Under 14s despite being only 10 at the time. She was also part of the Lower North Island Waka Ama Champion team in the W6 500m .
After receiving beautiful trophies for their individual categories the talented duo were then named as joint overall winners of the coveted “Sports Person of the Year” title and were honoured with the exquisitely carved Hakinakina Taumata Trophy and Taonga made of greenstone.
And they have a very proud father!