Keeping it in the family

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Queenstowner Graeme Jones and daughter Alex starred at the Wakatipu rugby/netball annual awards night last Saturday. 

Jones, 47, known as ‘Buckets’, was awarded the Wakatipu Rugby Club’s 10th life membership and was also named personality of the year. 

Graeme’s played more than 300 games for the club’s premier and Wanderers senior reserve sides since 1979 – even fitting in five minutes for the top team this season – and has also coached and managed both teams. 

Alex, 18, an under-19 Southland netball rep, was given a special award for her contribution to the sport. 

In other rugby awards, club president Damien O’Connell – who announced he’s stepping down after three years – was named club man of the year. The best under-18 forward and back awards went to Wakatipu High students Michael Pinto-Raetz and Ben Dolman, respectively. 

Wanderers award winners were Sean Windle for most improved player and Josh Railton for player of the year. Darren Schwalger and Regan Pearce shared the team spirit prize. 

For the Premiers, Karlo Aggerholm was most improved player and Marcus Balchin player of the year. 

Other netballers recognised were Tracee Harris as Premiers’ most valuable player, Bridget Kirk as Senior A most valuable player, Lucy Robins as most achieved player, and Sasha McLeod as official of the year. 

The WHS Yr9A and Cougar Security teams won the Senior A and Premiers Conduct Cup awards, respectively.