Winners of the Waikato District Youth Awards have been announced and all hail from north of Hamilton.
Out of 94 nominations, individually or within a group, five winners were named at a special event at the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on Friday. They are:
- Sass/Swag – Tia Maipi. Tia has made a name for himself in the dancing community. He’s part of Paris Goebel’s award-winning dance group, ‘The Palace Royal Family’.
- Like a Boss – Sharnay Cocup. Sharnay formed the first youth group in the Taupiri community just over two years ago. Her efforts have included organising a community planting day and she’s also encouraged youth involved in reconstructing Taupiri Mountain’s public bush walkway.
- Champion of the Earth (Environment, natural, cultural, social, urban) – Taupiri Youth Group. This is a group of 20 youth who are carrying out the reconstruction of the public bush walkway known as Taupiri Mountain.
- Helping Hand – Lashon Semau.Lashon is involved in the Tuakau Youth Centre as a volunteer. He volunteers at the Tuakau Primary School every Tuesday and Thursday,
- Kia Kaha – Shane Edwards. Shane is a volunteer in the Port Waikato Community. He has trained a number of locals to become skilled as rescue boat crews.
Trophies for the winners and certificates for them and category runners’ up were presented by Mayor Allan Sanson, and Councillors Janet Gibb, Shelley Lynch, Jan Sedgwick, Wally Hayes and Jacqui Church on Friday night.
This is the first year Waikato District Council has held the awards.
“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Mayor Sanson. “They are also often the eyes and ears of our community and have a lot to contribute to its development. That’s why it’s crucial that our Council continues to support, involve and recognise our district’s young people and their role in shaping our community’s future.”
Nominees had to be aged between 12 and 24. They could be either living in, have lived in, or contributed to the Waikato district in the past 12 months. The awards were made possible by funding from the Ministry of Youth Development.
For a full list of winners and runners up, click here.