Sportsperson of Year: Junior team

The Taranaki Daily News Sportsperson of the Year
 awards will be held in New Plymouth on Friday,
 November 23.  Today, we feature the nominees
for the senior and junior sports teams awards.


Devon Intermediate sevens rugby team

The Devon Intermediate sevens team finished second at the 2012 Aims Games seven-a-side tournament in Tauranga in September. Seeded last of the 32 teams, the team exceeded all expectations to finish second in their pool of eight. They then finished second in the championship round beating a past champion along the way. In semifinal play, Devon beat one of the more fancied teams  but lost the final - their 14th game of the week. Two players were selected in the tournament team.

Highlands Intermediate junior girls' running team

The Highlands Intermediate team won the ''three-man team'' gold at the Aims Games in Tauranga. Isabella Kelly finished third in the individual girls' (11-13 year age group) race, with Francesca Florence 13th and Nicola Godwin 20th. At the Round the Lakes relay in Wanganui, they added another runner to the team and won the intermediate girls' title. Isabella won the award for fastest girl. She was first in the 12-year-old girls' race at the Taranaki primary schools' cross-country, with Francesca third. With the help of Maddie Hardie-Boys and Kaylee Frost, the team won the 12-year-old girls' title.

Inglewood Primary first XI cricket team

The Inglewood team finished second at the national primary school's (year 7 and 8) cricket tournament in November last year. Inglewood competed in the New Zealand Cup cricket tournament, having first won the Taranaki competition and then the regional tournament beating teams from Wanganui, Manawatu, Hawke's Bay and Wellington. At the national tournament in Palmerston North, Inglewood lost only one game to the eventual winners, Tauranga Intermediate which has a school roll of more than 1200. In stark contrast, Inglewood has less than 55 boys to choose from with less than 20 who actually play cricket.

Opunake High School Hillary Challenge team

Opunake High School broke through for a deserved win in the Hillary Challenge adventure race at Tongariro earlier this year. After finishing second on three occasions - 2007, 2008 and 2011 - and third in 2010, Opunake won the event, beating their arch rivals - a combined side form New Plymouth Girls' High School and Boys' High School. The Hillary Challenge is a gruelling five-day endurance event. They team built on previous experiences and took their training and commitment to another level to claim the title. It was an impressive effort for the eight-strong team who worked hard together to claim national honours.

Ravens under-16 inline hockey team

The Ravens team headed to the nationals hoping for a top-four finish. The team, coached by Anna Carrington, exceeded their expectations winning the national under-16 title. Ravens lost their first game at the nationals 3-2, but regrouped and went on to win their remaining games. They beat Rimutaka Renegades narrowly and then in the final beat Hamilton Devils. The two teams were level going into the final quarter, with a strong defensive effort from Ravens holding Hamilton out. Ravens winning goal came in the final minute.