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Wednesday 8 April 2009 | Published in Regional


Saturday 4: The 2008 national sports awards on Thursday were dedicated to honouring local sports people who were at the top of their game in 2008.

It was certainly a proud night for the Dearlove family with oe vaka siblings Reuben and Tamsyn Dearlove taking out the 2008 sportsman and sportswoman of the year awards.

Tamsyn Dearlove was certainly not expecting the honour of being crowned 2008 sportswoman of the year and the next morning she was still surprised.

Tamsyn says she was also glad that her brother Reuben Dearlove won the sportsman of the year award.

“Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to look him in the eyes,” she jokes.

Dearlove says that her success in oe vaka is all due to her parents Neil and Janet Dearlove.

“I would really like to thank mum and dad for looking after my kids so I could go out paddling,’ says Dearlove.

Ake Hosea-Winterflood was also a winner on the night picking up the Mamia Tunui Women in Sports trophy for her work with Athletics Cook Islands and her Tamariki

Sports programme.

Hosea says she was glad to receive her trophy but was more proud to see her trainee Patricia Taea pick up the 2008 junior sportswoman of the year award.

The awards night also included a speech by guest speaker Kevin Iro who spoke about his passion wanting to represent the Cook Islands in sport.

Iro played most of his rugby league overseas where he played for a number of clubs and represented New Zealand.

During his speech, Iro spoke about the first time he represented the Cook Islands when he made the league squad.

He recalled that before the Cooks match up against Australia the local boys were star struck and needed a little bit of encouragement to just get out on the field and play their game.

The local boys just couldn’t get over the fact they were to play with league stars that they just followed the Australian team down the tunnel and gathered round them for photos.

The night was enjoyed thoroughly by enthusiastic sports supporters on the night and most especially by the winning athletes. - MW