Five sports names vie for People's Choice AwardSave
By Shane Hurndell
Who will become the second winner of the NZME Peoples Choice award?
This is another question which will be answered at the May 20 function in Taradale's Pettigrew-Green Arena. Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby prop and Hawke's Bay Hawkeyes speedway racer Jason Long was a popular winner of the inaugural award last year.
One of last year's contenders, Black Sticks hockey player Shea McAleese, is a finalist again. He is up against Magpies captain Ash Dixon, Kiwis league star Tohu Harris, Football Ferns keeper and former White Ferns cricketer Rebecca Rolls and Hawks basketball team head coach Kirstin Daly-Taylor.
Remember the winner of this award is decided by public voting which begins tomorrow and ends at 4pm on Monday, May 15. It's a case of one vote per person and votes must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Voters are asked to put NZME People's Choice in the subject line.
Shea McAleese (Hockey): McAleese is a New Zealand rep who attended William Colenso College. After making his international debut in 2005 McAleese played at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics. He was in the New Zealand team which won bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. McAleese played for the Uhlenhorster club in Hamburg from 2007 to 2009 and this side won the Euro Hockey League 2007-08 season and finished second the following year. He represents the Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Hockey India League and has also coached the Central Mavericks team in New Zealand.
Ash Dixon (Rugby): Dixon is a New Zealand Maori representative who is a member of the Napier Technical Old Boys Club. The Magpies captain started his career with Hawke's Bay playing 21 matches for the province from 2008 to 2009 before shifting north to further his career with Auckland. In 2012 Dixon moved back to Hawke's Bay and has played 74 first-class games for the Magpies. A Super Rugby Championship winner with the Highlanders and multiple world age-group champion, Dixon captained the Maori All Blacks on their northern hemisphere tour last year.
Tohu Harris (League): Harris is a New Zealand Kiwis rep who plays for the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League (NRL). A former Junior Kiwi, Harris primarily plays at secondrow and lock, but can also fill in at centre and five-eighth. The proud Ngati Kahungunu descendant, who has won the iwi's Sportsperson of the Year award, played his junior rugby and league for the Tamatea club and attended Hastings Boys High School before being signed by the Storm. Next year Harris will be returning to New Zealand to play for the New Zealand Warriors.
Rebecca Rolls (Football and Cricket): Multi-talented Rolls has played for New Zealand in two different codes, first making her mark with the Football Ferns before going on to enjoy an international cricket career as a wicketkeeper. Cricket became her priority in 1994 and she represented the White Ferns in 104 matches before returning to football as a goalkeeper in 2012. That call paid off as she was included in the Ferns squad for Beijing in 2012 but has largely acted as an understudy since returning to the national side, firstly to Jenny Bindon and then incumbent Erin Nayler.
Kirstin Daly-Taylor (Basketball): Daly-Taylor represented Hawke's Bay at age-group level, gaining New Zealand selection at under-16, -18 and -20 levels. She was an inaugural member of the New Zealand Basketball Institute and gained a college scholarship to play in the NCAA competition. Daly-Taylor was first selected for the Tall Ferns in 1985 as a 17-year- old and played for them over a 15-year period. In her final year she captained the team at the 2000 Olympics. Daly-Taylor was the first woman to coach a men's NBL team (Hawks) in 2003 and was assistant coach for the Tall Ferns at the 2004 Olympics. She has remained active coaching secondary school teams and is the current Hawks head coach.