Congratulations to Waimarama Taumaunu , who was announced as the winner of the Gibson Sheat Lawyers Coach of the Year for 2013 at the fabulous Wellington Sportsperson of the Year awards dinner held at the Town Hall on 13 June. This was the last big event for the Town Hall before it closes for major earthquake strengthening.
In presenting the Award, Nigel Stirling mentioned that “the role of our sports law team is to help our athletes and organisations be the best that they can be… and of course our coaches have similar objectives in relation to their athletes and teams. We all know that good coaching is a key to success and it is likely that everyone in this room has benefitted from the valuable input of a great coach at some point in their lives. So it is very appropriate that we celebrate our wonderful Wellington coaches.”
Wai was a Silver Fern from 1981-1991, she received an MBE in 1992 for services to netball and was inducted into the NZ Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. She has held various positions in sports administration and coaching in both England and here in New Zealand. In May 2008, she accepted the position of assistant coach for the Silver Ferns, and in October 2011, took over as head coach.
Another highlight of the evening was the induction of the Wellington sports legends, including Bob Blair who represented NZ in cricket and whose fiancé was tragically killed in the Tangiwai rail disaster on Christmas eve 1953 while Bob was away playing in a cricket test match in South Africa. Books and a film have captured that story. Bob was very entertaining and engaging in this interview and came out with wonderful comments such as “At the other end of the pitch there were 3 stumps and a batsman and my job as a fast bowler was simply to make sure that I hit at least one of them!”
The overall winner of the sports person of the year was Peter Taylor one of our fantastic Olympic rowing medallists from London 2012.
Gibson Sheat has sponsored this award for over 15 years and it was again a superb Wellington event.