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October 12, 2023

Ari Leckie – Sportsman of the Year 2023

Ari was the Captain of the Burnside High Senior Boys Volleyball team this year, leading his team to winning the Canterbury Secondary Schools’ Division 1 Boys title, and coming a best-ever 6th place in Division 1 at the NZ Secondary Schools’ Championships in Palmerston North in Term 1. 

He was also a member of the Canterbury team who placed 1st at the Inter Provincial Championships and is in the NZ Junior Mens Training Squad, for which the final team is still to be named. 

Ari also played Beach Volleyball in Term 1, partnering with Jova Waqa to place 3rd in the Senior Boys division at the NZ Secondary Schools’ Championships in Mount Maunganui.

2023 Sportsman Ari Leckie

Penelope Yang – Sportswoman of the Year 2023

Penny’s sport is Powerlifting and she has had an incredible year of results. 

She is currently the top Powerlifter in New Zealand in her weight and age class. 

Penny currently holds the New Zealand squat record for U72kg lifters of 130kg which she broke earlier this year at the National Championships. She has been selected to attend the World Powerlifting Championships in Rome in November and it’s her last opportunity to break the World Youth record squat, which has been held for over 8 years. 

Penny has been invaluable with her help in coaching and managing the new members to the Powerlifting group at school this year, either training in the school weights room, and at competitions.

2023 Sportswoman Penny Yang

Volleyball – Girls Senior A Australia Team – Team of the Year 2023

After a disrupted Term 1 of Volleyball last year, due to Covid restrictions, this team set their sights on heading to the Gold Coast in December for the Australian Schools Cup (the equivalent of our National Secondary Schools’ Championships in NZ). 

The quality of the competition is so high, that it is like playing a national final in NZ every game. The team won every game, only dropping two sets all tournament, one of which was in the final vs Brighton.

Burnside High School has never won this tournament before and we became only the second New Zealand school to ever do this in the Open Honours Grade (Division 1). The team were wonderfully led by Captain, Rosa Vesty, and supported by Taylah Holdem and Cathy Porter. These three girls all received volleyball scholarships to the USA this year.

Volleyball – Girls Senior A Australia Team – Team of the Year 2023

Max Wallace – Student Contribution to Sport 2023

Max has been the Burnside High School nominated Hockey umpire this year and umpired both the Boys’ and Girls’ teams in their respective weekly competition games. With having the added workload of being Head Prefect this year, as well as his Rowing commitments in Term 1, Max has been very reliable in umpiring games each week, as well as going to the Johnson Cup tournament in Nelson with the Boys 1st XI team as their nominated umpire for that week.

His skill as an umpire was recognised when he was named to umpire the final at the Johnson Cup tournament, as well as umpiring the finals of the Saturday club competitions in both Mens’ and Womens’ and umpiring the final of the top grade in the Secondary Schools’ competition. He also coaches younger umpires to improve their skills.

Student Contribution to Sport 2023

Hamish Giddens – Principal’s Cup for Outstanding Achievement in One Sport 2023

Hamish has had an incredible year of Swimming, with a huge achievement of breaking a decade’s old Canterbury 1500m record for Boys 15yrs, formerly held by an Olympian. 

Hamish is the Canterbury Secondary Schools’ Open 200m Individual Medley Champion, as well as being a member of the Burnside High Boys 15yr Freestyle Relay Champion Team. He is the youngest swimmer in NZ to win an Open medal (Silver in the 1500m). 

Hamish competed in the NZ Short Course Championships and achieved four Gold medals in the 15yrs category, winning the award for Best Short Course Swimmer in NZ. He is in the NZ Development Squad – Pathway to International representation and is representing NZ in the upcoming Queensland Championships in Australia.

Hamish Giddens – Principal’s Cup for Outstanding Achievement in One Sport 2023

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