37 finalists for sports awards

Main Stories, Sports

The National, Thursday, May 12, 2011

THE finalists for the 2011 South Pacific Sports Awards were announced yesterday after it was extended for another two weeks to lure more nominations for various categories.
When announcing the finalists at the PNG Sports Federation conference room at the Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday, SP Sports Awards selection committee chairperson,  Emily George Taule, said she was impressed with the level of participation coming from as far as Kimbe, Tabubil, Popondetta, Wewak, Lae, Eastern Highlands and Chimbu. 
“The nominations reflect a better understanding and appreciation of the awards from the general public,” Taule said.
Unlike previous years, there were a total of 81 nominations but with certain categories having less nominations, organisers had to extend the time frame.
Taule added that three nominations were invalid and the selection panel had to sit down and consult each other at several meetings to decide on the finalists.
It was a five-member selection panel consisting the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee, PNG Sports Foundation, a representative from the PNG Athletics Commission and two other sports associates. 
There are finalists in the 13 different categories on offer and the final winner of each category will be announced at the SP Sports Awards night at the Crowne Plaza on May 28.
Taule said finalists for each category were selected based on a selection and nominations received.
“Some nominations did not have supporting documents and were considered invalid – with no supporting statement to justify why that nominee was considered for that award,” Taule said.
She added that the committee was very thorough in its selections and discussions were quite intense to come up with the finalists.
She also said 37 out of the 81 nominations had been shortlisted as the finalists for each category.
The finalists are; sports reporter of the year – Steven Mase (FM 100), Peter Pusal (The National), Kevin Teme (The National); technical official of the year – Numa Graham (sailing), John Ovia (cricket), Richard Wagambie (rugby league); sports administrator of the year – Vonnie Kapi Natto (soccer), Fredrick Matthies (rugby union), Stanley Nandex (kickboxing); best sportsperson with disability – Timothy Harabe (para-sport-powerlifting), Pope Hazave (para-sport-powerlifting); distinguished services to sport  –  Tony Green (athletics), Ronnie Mea (basketball), Numa Graham (sailing); junior team of the year – PNG soccer U17 men’s, PNG Hebou Barramundis U19; junior female athlete of the year – Judith Meauri (swimming), Tanya Ruma (cricket), Marcia Tere-Apisah (tennis); junior male athlete of the year – Raymond Jr Haoda (cricket), Steven Kari (weightlifting), John Rivan (athletics); national performance award – Anthony Aruha (rugby football), Geoffrey Loi (table tennis), William Maba (soccer/volleyball); team of the year – Hebou Barramundis mational men’s (cricket), Hekari United FC (soccer), Kimbe Rebels (rugby union); sportswoman of the year – Norma Ovasuru (cricket), Barbara Stubbings (squash), Toea Wisil (athletics); and sportsman of the year – Raymond Jr Haoda (cricket), Ryan Pini (swimming) and Nelson Stone (athletics).
Taule acknowledged the support of SP Brewery for the gala event to recognise PNG’s finest sporting heroes.
She also thanked support sponsors, Air Niugini, The National, FM 100, EMTV, Crowne Plaza, Theodist, Graffiti Signs and City Pharmacy Ltd.