Hawera's own BMX world champion Steve Schimanski pocketed two prestigious titles at a sporting awards ceremony yesterday.
Schimanski was named overall winner and senior sportsperson at the 2013 Paddy Manu Junior Sports Awards held at Hawera's The Hub.
Last month, Schimanski claimed top spot in the 35-39 Male Cruiser division at the BMX World Championships.
He told the Taranaki Daily News that six months ago he had thought of giving up his sporting career as he was "kind of burnt out."
In the end, he was glad he hung on otherwise he would have missed out on the world title.
"Took me 30 years to win it," Schimanski said.
Alton 4's Men's Bowls nabbed the team award of the year.
Members Grant Anderson, Bruce Phillips, Mark Anderson and John Roberts were recognised for their slew of wins such as top spot in the Champs of Champs Fours, Regional National Club Champs, Taranaki Men's Open Fours, Men's Centre Fours, and the Nolan town 5000.
Golf prodigy Celeste McLean of Patea claimed junior sportsperson title for her achievements throughout the year.
Miss McLean, who played a game of golf with champion golfer Lydia Ko when Ko was 11, hopes to eventually turn pro.
"And I hope to be able to play as well as Ko," Miss McLean said.
Coach of the year went to Willie Rickards for his hard work and dedication in coaching the Southern team to winning rugby's senior A final..
Volunteer of the year was awarded to Hawera's Val Mekalick for dedicating the past 20 years to the Eltham Football Club.
Mekalick also coaches two junior and two senior teams as well as co-ordinating the junior first kicks programme.
"I wasn't expecting to be nominated for the award, much less win it," he said.
More than 150 guests, including South Taranaki District Mayor Ross Dunlop, attended the Paddy Manu Junior Sports Awards.
The awards were established in 2000 to commemorate popular South Taranaki sportsman the late Paddy Manu.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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