The Under 10s awards went to (from left to right): Most improved, Niko Janashia; tackler of the year, Felix Lindesay; player of the year, Tai Rippengale; coach’s choice, Sienna Stevens. Photo Duana Upchurch

While New Zealand waits for the sharp end and the silverware at the Rugby World Cup, Waiheke’s youngsters have been sharing out the spoils of another excellent season of rugby on the island.

Last Thursday marked the club’s annual prize-giving and hundreds packed out Waiheke Sports Club at Ostend to see dozens of awards handed out.

For the uninitiated, it’s worth noting that the seeming oddity of having the rugby awards at the traditional home of Waiheke league is simply a great example of the crossover between the 15 and 13-man codes on the island. Just watching the world cup in Japan at the moment and realising that two great Rams names (Samoa coach Steve Jackson and Tongan hardman Zane Kapeli) are frequently on our screens shows that the junior ranks of both codes are feeding into a great tradition of elite sportsmen and women coming out of Waiheke.

Having used the evening to celebrate the club’s winners and vital sponsors, there’s just one more event in the season left to help raise funds for next year’s crop of talent: a Kids Fun Day planned for October 19.

The day will be held at Onetangi Sports park and feature old school games for kids and adults – hopscotch, jenga, O&Xs – as well as some rugby based games like target practice for kicking and passing. This is sponsored by Alibi, Heke and Wild On Waiheke, so will be a bit of a beerfest on the side with some good music, food and family fun for all.

For more info and to buy tickets, go to and search Waiheke rugby. •

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