Memorable Sporting moments from 2017

We could fill several papers with the amount of sporting events and moments achieved this year. 2017 has been a year full of success, achievements and milestones. Here is just a selection of what our community has done in the sporting arena.
BASKETBALL
Franklin Basketball’s U13 Boy’s team became the first Franklin squad to take out the ABSL Super City basketball competition.
BOWLS, GOLF and CROQUET
Indoor and outdoor bowls, golf and croquet have been played throughout the year, with various open days, tournaments, and social events throughout the district.
CRICKET
The Waiuku District Cricket Club’s Saki Saunokonoko was awarded with a life membership. Saki moved to Waiuku in the 1970s, but earlier this year moved to Rolleston.
The Murphy Panel and Paint Waiuku 5/6 Gold Cricket team won all 16 of their games, sometimes winning by 100 runs. For some players, it was their first ever season.
CYCLING/ BMX
Clarks Beach cyclist Joanna Sharpe represented New Zealand at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in France this year, in the time trial and road race.
The Sunset Coast BMX Club in Puni continue to place in various championships across the country. Nine of sixteen riders placed in the top eight at the North Island Champs held in October.
FOOTBALL
Franklin United’s U19 Mens team took out the league and cup competitions this year.
Sixty-two teams took part in Franklin School’s Football Tournament held at the A&P showgrounds this year.
Waiuku’s Britney Cunningham-Lee was selected for the Women’s U17 squad that headed to the Oceania Football Confederation Championship in August.
HOCKEY
Pukekohe High School Boys’s Hockey first XI had a season of wins, remaining unbeaten after defeating Strathallan in the grand final.
LACROSSE
Pukekohe High School girls lacrosse team stormed their first ever season, taking out the division.
EQUESTRIAN
After two years of literally blood sweat and tears, Pukekawa’s Holly Thompson, and her horse, Jack, took out the New Zealand title of Verbac Rising Riding Horse of the Year.
NETBALL
Pukekohe High’s premier gold netball team won every game at the Counties Manukau Secondary Schools’ competition.
Waiuku College’s Gold team took out the top place at the Counties Manukau Collegiate Regional Premier Netball League.
ORIENTEERING
Waiuku College student Kurtis Shuker, 18, was a finalist in the 2017 Sportsperson of the Year awards. He represented New Zealand in the Australian Schools’ Orienteering Champs in September and was the gold medalist in the Senior boys sprint race.
RUGBY
Bombay Gough Cat came away with the McNamara Cup for the fourth season in a row, after outplaying rivals Karaka. In Premier two, Karaka won the Don Shuker cup. In Premier three, the Counties Power Cup went to Pukekohe.
A game of three halves returned to Pukekohe, with the Taranaki Bulls, All Blacks and Counties Manukau Steelers facing off against each other. It was a definite crowd pleaser.
The IMG Waiuku Women’s rugby team made it into the semi-final, the only senior team from the club to make it that far.
Waiuku Rugby Club’s Sam Cole celebrated 150 games for the club in March.
RUGBY LEAGUE
Wesley College’s league team won their plate final, thanks to a golden point, while three days later, the first XV won the final of the CNI championships. It was only the second time participating in the competition.
SKIING
Tuakau’s Aaron Ewen will be making his Paralympic debut at the Winter Olympics in China next year in alpine skiing.
SURF LIFE SAVING
Sunset Beach Surf Life Saving club picked up three IRB trophies, winning the Region’s IRB Championships, the Competition Team of the Year award for its female IRB crew, and Shane Edwards received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Power Craft, as well as Coach of the Year.
Kariaotahi Surf Life Saving Club has been recognised at the 2017 annual Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) Toyota Financial Services Awards of Excellence.
SWIMMING
Samuel Muir-James swam all 40.5km of Lake Taupo, in preparation for the Cook Strait swim. The Counties Manukau special Olympics athlete completed the swim in 14 hours, 58 minutes and three seconds.
Thomas Murray of Onewhero Area School made seven swimming finals of the seven events he entered at the AIMS games, taking out four first places. Thomas was one of the Pukekohe Swimming Club athletes who competed in the Harlequins Zone Swimming Champs, with 25 other junior swimmers. They collected 18 medals between them, finishing seventh overall.
MARATHON
In March, Waiuku’s Quinn Gardiner-Hall completed his mission and reached his goal of running four half marathons, in four counties, before he turned 12. As he completed the Antarctica Half Marathon, Quinn also set a new record as the youngest ever competitor in the world to run a half marathon in Antarctica.
WEIGHTLIFTING
Ben Holmes lifted 865kg combined, setting a national record in his under 140kg class, and coming second overall at the GPC Nationals.
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