Fear not, the future of Waikato sport is in safe hands.
After a year of medioce results by our national teams, future gold medallists and world cup winners will be recognised tonight at the Waikato Secondary School Sports Awards at Hamilton Gardens.
Hamilton Boys' High School (eight), Hillcrest High School (eight) and St Peter's School (seven) are the best represented schools at tonight's dinner, but finalists come from 20 schools in the region.
Hillcrest's Oliver Leydon-Davis is the only athlete to be nominated in two categories, also reaching the finals in the all-rounder of the year.
The 17-year-old said he was "pretty stoked" to be nominated in both categories, but will face tough competition, especially in the all-rounder category.
Leydon-Davis recently made the top 16 at the Junior World Badminton Championships in Auckland with his Auckland partner, but he's kept busy with other sports too.
Leydon-Davis is nominated for his badminton, cricket, golf, duathlon, cross country and athletics abilities, but goes up against four others athletes with CVs just as extraordinary.
Cambridge's Caitlin Easter is a finalist for her achievements in swimming, basketball, athletics and surf-lifesaving. Taren Moana-Mason from Huntly College plays handball, netball and touch. Hillcrest's Rita Schooley is a finalist for volleyball, hockey, soccer, athletics, cross country and road racing. And Matamata College's Lynaire Williams is nominated for netball, swimming, athletics and volleyball.
Sportswoman of the year is a four-horse race with four different schools represented. Morrinsville College's Camille Buscombe (athletics), last year's junior sportswomen of the year St Peter's Emma Petersen (cycling), Alyce Pulford from Hauraki Plains College (athletics) and Tokoroa High School's Aliesha Watene (squash) are the finalists.
HBHS may have the inside running in the sportsman of the year category with three of the six finalists representing the maroons. Brad Ross (rowing), Anurag Verma (cricket) and Tyson Williams (rowing) are the three Boys' High finalists along with Cambridge High's Kurt Kirby (judo), St Paul's Colin Murphy (soccer) and Hillcrest's Leydon-Davis (badminton).
The team of the year category is another tight group with Matamata's girls' shooting team, Taumarunui's senior boys' basketball team, Waihi College's A netball team and Hamilton Boys' first XV rugby team and senior rowing eight all in the running.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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