Auckland Rugby’s Fa’atiga Lemalu claimed the top sporting honour at the 2018 Ōtara Sports Awards at Kia Aroha College on Saturday 1 December.

The Ōtara Sports Awards, which is proudly supported by Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board, celebrates and honours the sporting achievements of local sports people including athletes, coaches and administrators.

Lemalu was named the Sportsman of the Year before being presented with the Supreme Award after his performances in this year’s Mitre 10 Cup for Auckland Rugby, who claimed their first title since 2007. The Ōtara-raised lock forward is a Manu Samoa international and plays club rugby at Papatoetoe.

“It’s a huge honour and privilege to receive this award. A special thank you to my family, friends and community for their support to do what I love which is play rugby for a living,” he says.

“I remember growing up in Ōtara and it always felt good when a local person reached higher honours. My local heroes were Eric Rush and Peter Fatialofa, both great rugby players and proud Ōtara people.”

Sally Kaokao won the Sportswoman of the Year Award. The multi-sport athlete (MMA, Kabaddi, Tag, Ju-Jitsu, Rugby Union) placed first in NO GI National Tournament (up to 76.5kgs), second in the NO GI Regional tournament, and was a member of the Samoa senior mixed team at the 2018 Tag World Cup, Counties Open Women’s Tag team, and represented New Zealand at the Malaysia Indoor Kabaddi Competition.

Second Ōtara Sports Awards honours local success

Sally Kaokao won the Sportswoman of the Year Award

The AMMI Athletics Grade 11 Girls were named Team of the Year after winning gold at the North Island Colgate Games in the 4x100m relay, winning gold and setting a record for their age group in the 4x200m relay and gold in the 4x100m relay at the Counties-Manukau Junior Athletics Championships.

The Uniquely Abled Award was won by Mark Sullivan of the Auckland Wheelbreakers after his performances for the Auckland A team in the regional and national tournaments. Mark was also selected for the All-Star team at the Wheelchair Basketball New Zealand National tournament. For the seventh successive year, Mark was awarded the Auckland Wheelbreakers Defensive Player of the Year.

Emily Scanlan of the AMMI Athletics Club was named Masters Athlete of the Year beating out clubmate Vavae Nuia and Sullivan of the Wheelbreakers. Scanlan competed in the NZ Masters Track & Field Championships this year and won gold in hammer, javelin, weightlifting, throws pentathlon and bronze in shotput.

In other awards, Pawan Marhas was named Coach of the Year, Willie Toelau received the award for Official of the Year, Alfred Nonu was named junior sportsman of the year and Leianne Tufuga was recognised as the junior sportswoman of the year.

Full list of winners and finalists for the 2018 Ōtara Sports Awards

Sports Administrators (each person received an award)

  • Kirk Jennings – Tangaroa College
  • Kevin Long – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Senior School
  • Emily Scanlan – AMMI Athletics Club

Service to Sport (each person received an award)

  • Tupai Sitovi Falemai – Auckland Pacific Kilikiti
  • Warren James Putt – Auckland Wheelbreakers
  • Nedaleen Taylor and Jimmy Davidson – Ōtara Scorpions Rugby League

Official of the Year

  • Winner: Willie Toelau, NZIFI Tag and Rugby League
  • James Schmidt, Counties Manukau, Tag and Rugby League
  • Chris-Frankie Smith, NZ zone umpire, Netball, Scorpions

Coach of the Year

  • Winner: Pawan Marhas – AMMI Athletics Club
  • Sally Kaokao – Samoa Tag, Counties Manukau Tag
  • Saua Leaupepetele – Tangaroa College 1st XV Rugby Union

Junior Team of the Year

  • Winner: AMMI Athletics Club Grade 11 Girls
  • Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Senior School Girls Rugby League
  • Tangaroa College 1st XV Rugby Union

Junior Sportswoman of the Year

  • Winner: Leianne Tufuga – Rugby Union, Tag
  • Daisy Eaglesome – Auckland Wheelbreakers and Wheelstars Jr
  • Michaela Poimatagi-Matautia – Rugby League, Ferguson Intermediate

Junior Sportsman of the Year

  • Winner: Alfred Nonu – Rugby Union
  • Tui Falepunaoa Ethan Amosa – Football, Baseball
  • Kauri Ezra Murray – Auckland Wheelbreakers

Masters Athlete

  • Winner: Emily Scanlan – AMMI Athletics Club Inc
  • Vavae Nuia – AMMI Athletics Club Inc
  • Mark Sullivan – Auckland Wheelbreakers

Uniquely Abled Award

  • Winner: Mark Sullivan – Auckland Wheelbreakers
  • Daisy Eaglesome – Auckland Wheelbreakers and Wheelstarz Jr
  • Kauri Ezra Murray – Auckland Wheelbreakers and Wheelstarz Jr

Team of the Year

  • Winner: AMMI Athletics Club Grade 11 Girls
  • Manukau Auckland Volleyball Inc
  • Tangaroa College 1st XV Rugby Union

Sportswoman of the Year

  • Winner: Sally Kaokao – MMA, Kabaddi, Tag, Ju Jitsu, Rugby League.
  • Peta Leitu – AMMI Athletics Club Inc
  • Jhana Magele – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Rugby League

Sportsman of the Year

  • Winner: Fa’atiga Lemalu – Auckland Rugby
  • Tui Falepunaoa Ethan Amosa – Football, Baseball
  • Alfred Nonu – Rugby Union

Lifetime Achievement Award – Hall of Fame Class of 2018

  • Monique Hirovanaa – Rugby Union
  • Brett Leaver – Hockey
  • Mark Leaver – Hockey