Lesson to be learnt from recognition for sportspeople

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 26/11/2012

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Lampp's sports comments

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OPINION: Jason Emery's national recognition on Saturday night shows the worth of young players staying with the Turbos where they get an early dip at first-class rugby.

The 19-year-old Manawatu centre was named New Zealand junior sportsman of the year at the Maori Sports Awards in Manukau City.

They were televised on the Maori Channel, but Emery (Ngati Maniapoto) was absent.

There were only three finalists and one of the others was Manawatu rugby league player Apirana Pewhairangi (Ngati Porou) who has just switched clubs from the Newcastle Knights to the Parramatta Eels and was interviewed in Maori during Saturday's TV coverage.

At the recent Manawatu sports awards, Emery missed out in the junior category to hot young golfer Tyler Hodge.

■ Those of us waiting for Old Boys-Marist rugby forward Chris Long to take the field for Canada against the Maori All Blacks at Oxford on Saturday weren't up with the play.

Long was back in Manawatu with the likelihood of a shoulder operation which could keep him out for much of next season.

He qualifies through his family to play for Canada.

Even with his sore shoulder, he came off the bench for Canada against Uruguay and played the entire game against Argentina but wasn't fit enough to tour Britain.

■ Orlando Country's new up-market nine-hole golf course just out of Palmerston North on Rangitikei Line is taking shape.

Professionally designed by Tommy Cushnahan, the country club-style course has been shaped, with lakes, a metalled area and a driving range put in, irrigation work is under way, greens have been sown and fairways are to be established soon.

It is on 17 hectares of a former dairy farm.

■ Manawatu's New Zealand hockey captain Kayla Sharland is in demand at sports awards evenings.

On Saturday, Sharland (Rangitaane) the Manawatu sportswoman of the year, was a finalist for the Maori sportswoman award.

It went for the second time in a row to Olympic Games canoeing gold medallist Lisa Carrington.

Meanwhile, Manawatu's other London Olympic Black Stick Emily Naylor is working as a personal trainer in Hastings and is a youth ambassador for the New Zealand Olympic Committee, a role that requires her to visit schools throughout the central North Island.

■ Reece Robinson, the Manawatu lock who has officially retired from rugby, has a bio as long as both of his long arms.

After kicking off at Eketahuna Primary School and Tararua College, he was picked for the NZ Schools side in 1995 (3 games). Then followed: Hawke's Bay (Napier OB Marist) 1998-2001 (30 games); NZ under-21 1998 (2); Central Vikings 1998 (13); NZ Divisional XV 2000 (3); NZRU Div II player of year 2001; NZ Maori 2001-03 (6); Chiefs 2003 (8); Taranaki (Coastal) 2002-03, (Tukapa) 2004 (28); Mitsubishi (Japan) 2005-09; Manawatu (OB Marist) 2009-12 (39).

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