Youth Awards Recipients
Waipa’s top young sportspeople, academic achievers and community leaders have been recognised in this year’s annual Youth Awards.
The Waipa Youth Award, usually a live event hosted before senior exams; was cancelled this year due to Covid-19 and replaced by a video starring all-star rugby great Honey Hireme-Smiler and Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest.
Each of the various award categories is separated into three tiers — Achieved, Merit and Excellence, with judges choosing a top student who displayed excellence in their respective field.
Te Awamutu College principal Tony Membery says he is proud of the success of a number of his students, especially Multi-Achiever Excellence Award winner Oksana Voznyuk.
He says it is like the “Supreme Award” as the recipient has to excel in two areas.
“Oksana’s success carries on a proud tradition, with Te Awamutu College students Leah Belfield having also earned the award in 2019, Katie Foulkes in 2016 and Megan Bethell in 2015,” says Tony.
“Congratulations to all those who were nominated. You have accomplished fine deeds to be there.
“Huge thanks also to Liz Parsons, for countless hours spent preparing our nomination forms, and to Waipa District Council, the sponsors and the judges.” The following students have been recognised as showing distinction in their respective category and received the Excellence-tier award.
St Peter’s Cambridge’s Ruoan Wang was recipient of the Academic award, Miranda McArthur, also of St Peter’s, received the Arts & Culture award.
Billie Brown-Wahanui from Te Awamutu College received the Community Service award for her contributions to the community.
The Leadership award was awarded to Hunter Ludlum of Cambridge High School.
Three young sportspeople were selected to receive the top sports award, with judges unable to choose a single worthy recipient. Jack Carswell, Maui Morrison and Andrew Syme, all of Cambridge High School, received a shared top award.
In a year thrown into disarray by Covid-19, the mayor thanked the district’s students for the sacrifices they had made during the pandemic year.
“Our students have had to make some serious sacrifices this year within their academic, sporting and social lives.
“We’ve seen cancelled graduations, cancelled sporting seasons, and most recently, uncertainty around end-of-year exams. It hasn’t been easy for our youth, and we’re grateful to our students for their contribution to the community this year.”
Te Awamutu College’s noteworthy recipients are:
Oksana Voznyuk: Excellence — Multi-Achiever, Merit — Academic.
Oksana was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: AG Freeman Medal for Dux Litterarum; Principal’s Award, Head Student; General Excellence Cup Year 13 2020 (Academic, Sports, Culture, Participation & Service); RSA Peace Scholarship — Girls’ (for contribution, service and leadership).
Billie Brown- Wahanui: Excellence — Community Service.
Billie was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: Service Committee chairperson; Waipa District Council Service to the Community Award; University of Waikato Te Paewai O Te Rangi Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement; Community Involvement, Netball Coach and Zone Theory Umpire for Te Awamutu Netball Centre.
Brianna Walker: Merit — Academic.
Brianna was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: NZQA level 3 scholarship — health; NCEA level 3 endorsed with excellence; Te Awamutu Business and Professional Women Trophy for Initiative and Enterprise; SADD Committee chairperson; Nga Kete O Te Wananga Trophy: Top Academic Maori Student in Year 13.
Megan Walker: Merit — Academic.
Megan was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: Academic Excellence — The Poot Cup for Top Year 12 Student; NCEA level 2 endorsed with excellence; mathematics and statistics with Calculus, physics, chemistry and economics endorsed with excellence; Gold Award with Distinction for earning 92 NCEA level 2 excellence credits; First in Subject Chemistry — Devlin Cup; mathematics and statistics with calculus — Paul Corboy Cup; physics — Edmund Halley Cup; Keith Millar Cup for Excellence in Sciences.
Matthew Yarndley: Merit — Academic.
Matthew was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: General Excellence Cup Year 12; Trebilco Cup for Academic, Sport, Culture, Participation and Service; Gold Award with Distinction for earning 92 NCEA level 2 excellence Credits; NCEA level 2 chemistry, physics, graphics and design and economics — endorsed with excellence; invited to attend Hands On at Otago University in January 2021 — only selected Year 12 and 13 students get to go each year.
M J Neethling: Merit — Arts and Culture.
M J was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: RSA Peace Scholarship — Boys’ (for contribution, service and leadership); Baird Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Dance; Principal’s Award — Head Student; First in Subject — NCEA level 3 dance.
Kate Yarndley: Merit — Leadership.
Kate was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: Principal’s Award — Head Student; Rotary Shield for Contribution, Service and Leadership; captain of the girls’ first X1 hockey team; leader at Narrows Park Christian Camp.
Troy James: Achieved — Leadership.
Troy was nominated on the basis of the following achievements: Principal’s Award — Head Student; Rotary Shield for Service to the School — Boys’ Shield; Rugby boys’ first XV Captain ; J.G Williamson Trophy — Boys’ Rugby Most Valuable Player.
The list of recipients and further information can be found on the Waipa District Council at waipadc.govt.nz/waipa-youth-awards.