Students grab gongs

The blues: From left, Meg Jolly, Alice Robinson, Sam Robbie and Winston Kiria

A Cook Islander who just joined Wakatipu High this year enjoyed the ultimate 18th birthday present last week.

Winston Kiria won the prestigious ‘all round sports man of the year’ title at the school’s sporting blues awards.

Earlier this year, he was named the most outstanding player of the first XV rugby team, which won the Southland secondary schools’ division two title.

“On a number of occasions he carried the team to victory,” his citation reads.

Winston also represented the school at the intercollegiate national golf finals in Nelson, performing well in both the team and individual competitions.

The ‘all round sports woman of the year’ title was won by rower and netballer Meg Jolly.

The 18-year-old was in the under-18 lightweight girls double, with Izzy Norton, who won bronze in the national secondary schools Maadi Cup regatta in April.

They rowed more than 10 seconds faster in the final than in the heats.

Meg – who also won a Youthmark award in Invercargill the night before – has played in Wakatipu High’s top netball teams over the years, too.

She’s won selection in numerous representative teams and was one of the few Central Otago players in this year’s Netball South performance programme.

Ski racer Alice Robinson won the ‘female sports performance of the year’ award after winning the United States U16 title in April, at Snowbird, Utah, beating the entire US U16 team.

At just 14, she was among the youngest competitors. The week prior, she won the U16 title for the US’ western region.

As part of the blues night, Alice and fellow skier Alex Hull, 15, received $1000 Bruce Grant Youth Trust grants for their northern hemisphere campaigns. Downhill mountain biker Sam Robbie won the ‘male sports performance of the year’ award.

After winning South Island and New Zealand U17 titles, he picked up the prestigious U17 boys’ Oceania Championships.

Tennis players Peter and Thomas Hartono, Josh McDermott and Bjorn Pollock were awarded the school’s ‘team of the year’.

They won the Southland and South Island secondary school titles and finished a hard-fought fifth in the national finals.