St Paul’s Collegiate School’s 1st XI hockey team were named sports team of the year at the Waikato Regional Sports Awards at Claudelands Events Centre on Thursday 27 January.
The team were recognised for a highly successful season and string of victories including winning the national Rankin Cup schoolboy hockey tournament in 2016.
The team also secured the Midland’s intercity hockey title, won the Pitu Shield and placed runners-up in the Waikato competition while players Reuben Andrews and Garrick du Toit were selected for the New Zealand under-21 and Junior Black Sticks teams respectively.
At the beginning of 2016 Coach Craig Hardman challenged the team to “write a story they would remember.”
“How they would go about writing this story was up to them. And, in the end it was a pretty cool story, a story they will never forget. They have left an amazing legacy for future players," Coach Hardman said.
St Paul’s Headmaster Grant Lander is naturally elated by the news too.
“We are tremendously proud of the efforts and achievements of our incredibly talented group of young hockey players, Coach Craig Hardman, Manager Gary Henley-Smith and assistant coaches Simon War and Matt Rees-Gibbs” Headmaster Lander said.
The hockey team were shortlisted for two other awards – Coach Craig Hardman for community coach of the year and Reuben Andrews for sportsman of the year – while the athletics team was also noticed for excellence with runner Jade Henley Smith shortlisted for sportswoman of the year.