By EMMA PETRUS
THE finalists for the SP Sports Awards were announced yesterday with The National’s sports reporters Jack Ami and Larry Andrew vying for the Sports Media and Sports Photo of the Year awards.
The Male Athlete of the Year category has Commonwealth Games weightlifting gold medallist Steven Kari along with kickboxer Lee Henry Garap and cricketer Tony Ura.
Kari’s fellow lifter Dika Toua vies for the Female Athlete of the Year along with cricket’s Brenda Tau and tennis ace Abigail Tere-Apisah.
Selection panel chairman Warwick Vele announced the three finalists for each of the 11 categories.
Vele said his panel had received a total of 137 nominations from with the selection of finalist determined by performance.
The National’s Ami is a senior sports reporter from Port Moresby with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and made the final three for the Sports Media award with EMTV’s Dinnierose Raiko and TVWAN’s Marie Sakumai the other finalists.
Lae-base reporter/photographer Larry Andrews is another long-serving newspaper man for the leading daily who made the final three for the Sports Photo category along with Post Courier’s Simon Kelsep and EMTV’s Fidelis Sukina.
The finalists from the 11 categories were selected by the panel while the 12th category known as the People’s Choice Award would be selected by the public.
Awards: Male Athlete of the Year – Lee Garap (Muay Thai), Steven Kari ( Weightlifting), Tony Ura (Cricket); Female Athlete of the Year – Brenda Tau (Cricket), Abigail Tere-Apisah (Tennis), Dika Toua (Weightlifting); Team of the Year – Barramundis (men’s cricket team), Lewas (women’s cricket team), Maleos (mixed netball team); National Performance of the Year – Alotau U15 basketball side, Enga Mioks (rugby league), Lois Garena (volleyball/softball/netball); Community Sports Initiative – Backyard Sports (multi-sport), Mum’s A Hero (basketball), Nelson Stone (multi-sport); Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Simon Atai (cricket), Leonard Kalate (swimming), Geoffrey Loi (table tennis); Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Violet Apisah (tennis), Rehema Kalate (swimming), Alice Kwaia (basketball); Best Sports Person with a Disability – Steven Abraham(para-athletics), Elias Larry (para-athletics), Vero Nime (para-table tennis); Sports Official of the Year – Rarua Dikana (cricket), Douglas Guise (rugby 7s), Adam Parker (netball); Sports Media of the Year – Jack Ami (The National), Dinnierose Raiko (EMTV), Marie Sakumai (TV WAN); Sports Photo – Simon Keslep (Airborne), Fidelis Sukina (Bird’s Eye View), Larry Andrew (Try On Debut).
By EMMA PETRUS