Front runners for 2013 Māori Sports Awards

By Rahia Timutimu

The Māori Sports Awards are held in Auckland to celebrate first class athletes, administrators, coaches and teams. 

Who are the front runners in the main sections at the awards?

The NZ Māori All Blacks, the NZ Māori Rugby League team and the Aotearoa Māori Netball team are finalists in the Māori Sports Team of the Year section.  The Māori All Blacks are no doubt favourites after their successful end of year North America tour.

Waimarama Taumaunu, Sean Horan and Colin Cooper will battle out for the Coach of the Year title.  Taumaunu won this award last year for her efforts with the Silver Ferns team. Cooper is her biggest threat after coaching the NZ Māori All Blacks to victory.

Tyla Nathan-Wong, Te Rongopai Clay and Phoenix Karaka are the nominees for the Junior Māori Sportswoman.  All three nominees have represented NZ in their respective sports but Tyla Nathan Wong has won a world title with her NZ Women's Sevens team.

The Junior Māori Sportsman Award is one of the hardest categories to choose a favourite.  Tai Hikuroa Wynyard, son of Jason Wynyard may be the one to watch out for.

Last year's Supreme Winner is back again, world champion Lisa Carrington is up against cricketer Suzie Bates and seven's star Kayla McAlister for the Senior Māori Sportswoman title.

And last but not least, the Senior Sportsman of the Year title has three different sportsmen contending; Brad Rona from Softball, and Gillies Kaka from Sevens, all trying to beat 2008 Supreme Winner and World Champion, Jason Wynyard.