SIX Eastern Bay nominations are among the finalists of the 2019 Bay of Plenty Rugby Union awards.
The annual awards recognise service, contribution and outstanding achievements over the recent rugby season.
The Eastern Bay is represented in six of the 10 categories, which is the one of best yet according to the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union club administrator Marie Paterson.
Opotiki’s Shane Chapman was nominated for FMG Rugby Good Sorts award for his ongoing support of rugby at all levels of rugby from under-6 through to seniors for Opotiki Sports Rugby Club.
He is the chairman of the Opotiki Junior Rugby Club and has coached the Opotiki Tai Mitchell team for many years although he doesn’t have a son in the team.
Chapman is described in the nomination as the club’s “go to man” in the Opotiki Sports Rugby Club and also at Opotiki Primary School where he works.
“He does all the extra jobs voluntarily and has coached rugby at a secondary school and senior level and is our local club hero.”
The 2019 season was notable for Eastern Bay club Te Teko, which won the premier two grade and this achievement has seen them become a finalist in the Farmlands Co-operative Club team of the Year award along with premier grade winners Te Puna and the Ngongotaha Sports’ development team.
A finalist in the R80 Club of the Year award is Edgecumbe Rugby Sports Club which won division two and subsequently gained promotion to the division one ranks for 2020.
Whakatane rugby stalwart George Rogers is a finalist in the Spark Service to Sport award, nominated by the Eastern Bay Junior Advisory Board (JAB) and Eastern Bay Sub Union for his ongoing support of the sport from junior to senior levels and at club to representative sides.
Other finalists from the Eastern Bay include the Trident 1st XV rugby team.
Trident’s 1st XV rugby coach Brett Wharewera was also named a finalist in the Bethlehem Coachlines Secondary School Coach of the Year award.
The winners of each category will be announced at the annual awards dinner being held in Rotorua next week on Wednesday, October 16.