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Tuaiti, Vaile take top sports honours

Wednesday 26 May 2010 | Published in Regional

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The country’s top sporting honours of sportsman and sportswoman of the year went to golfer Kirk Tuaiti and golden girl lawn bowler Kanny Vaile at last night’s national sports awards.

Tuaiti won two gold medals at the Pacific Mini Games in the men’s individual and team golfing event.

Vaile also won two gold medals at the Pacific Mini Games in lawn bowls one in the ladies fours division and the other in the ladies pairs.

Vaile also won two silver medals at the national Cook Islands Games and a third silver at the Arafura Games.

The Cook Islands Sailing Association walked away with the majority of awards at last night’s awards, scooping eight of the 18 trophies on offer with the Cook Islands Golf Association a close second picking up six awards.

Last night’s awards was a sell out event as the sporting community turned out in force to show their pride for their respective sports code.

Golf also took top honours in the junior sports awards with golfing sensation Elmay Viking winning the junior sportswoman of the year.

Viking won two gold medals at the Pacific Mini Games in the individual and team’s event.

After winning her two gold medals, the 15-year-old was ranked number one in the Pacific and became the first Cook Islands woman golfer to ever win a gold medal.

Viking won a second award taking out the 2009 Manea Zone sportswoman of the year.

Aitutaki born athlete Daniel Tutati won the junior sportsman of the year award after becoming the first male athlete in all the Oceania Island Associations to achieve the qualifying distance of 60m in javelin to go to the 2009 World Youth Championships in Italy.

The Cook Islands national golf team walked away with the team of the year award and the 2009 Albert and Elizabeth Henry Memorial sports achievement award.

Golf went home with the sports coach of the year award which went to coach Sonny Karati.

Netball umpire Estelle Searle won the 2009 Sports Technical Official of the year award while hard working Hasher Len Edwards picked up the sports administrator award for his work with the Cook Islands Triathlon Association.

Junior paddler Roland Maru was awarded the Hugh Henry fair play award for his selfless act of helping a fellow paddlers during the 2009 Vaka Eiva festival.

Anne Tierney picked up two awards for her dedication to sailing including the IOC personality award and the 2009 Mamia Tunui Savage memorial trophy for women in sport.

Remaining awards went to the Sailing Association for best administrated outer islands sports association.

Sailing sensation Helema William picked up two awards of her own for outer islands sports achievement and the Purapura sportswoman of the year award.

Fellow Manihiki sailor Junior Charlie picked up the Purapura zone sportsman of the year award while Aitutaki sailing Aquila Tatira wn the Manea Zone sportsman of the year award.

- Matariki Wilson

**Full list of 2010 sports awards nominees page 17