2021 Grammar Juniors Rugby Football Club Prizegiving.
Congratulations to all of our award winners!
Video 1: Acknowledgement, recognition and celebration of our sponsors, supporters, award winners, long service players and leavers. Our award winners are also listed below the videos.
Video 2: 2021 Photo montage – Enjoy!
2021 Award Winners.
U6 Lions James Howlett Best Attacker Alexander Cunningham Best Defender U6 Lynx Alexander Gray Best Attacker Kennedy Thomson Best Team Player U6 Wildcats Harrison Cross Best Player Declan Kruger Most Improved Player UNDER 7 U7 Cougars Freddie Taylor Best Attacker Jaime Brown Best All Rounder U7 Leopards Christopher Russell Best All Round Delilah Twentyman Best Attacker U7 Tigers Lucas Hotham Best Team Player Beatrice McGregor-MacDonald Best New Player UNDER 8 U8 Panthers Henry Wright Most Valuable Player Jack Williams Most Valuable Player U8 Jaguars Samuel Howlett Most Valuable Player Marshall Shao Player Of The Season UNDER 9 U9 Tigers Thorne Thomson Best Defender Kayde Greene Player Of The Year U9 Lions Blake Askew Best Defender Kai Serlachius Williams Best Attacker U9 Rippa Lions Ethan Godden Most Improved Player Leila Clayton-Ford Player Of The Year UNDER 10 U10 Barbarians Arthur White Most Valuable Player Thomas Snelling Best Team Player U10 Gold Sammy Berry Most Valuable Player Matthew Gilbert Most Improved Player U10 Lions Arno Smit Player of the Year Brook Sharp Most Improved Player UNDER 11 U11 Leopards Alexander Sonn Players’ Choice Award Campbell Hunter Coaches Choice Award UNDER 12 U12 Blue Johnathin Smit Most Improved Player Sam Anderson Best Team Player U12 Black Oliver Goodfellow The Hard Yards Award Will McLeod Most Improved Player UNDER 13 U13 Whineray Max Gilbert Most Consistent Defender Elliott Kopke Gutsiest Player
The Club Enthusiasm and Attitude Award
Awarded to a player from U6-U11 grades.
Guidelines – this trophy is awarded to a player who may not be the best in the team, or have the most outstanding skills, but is someone who shows overall enthusiasm and positivity to the game, teammates, coaches etc. Someone who attends every practice session with enthusiasm, someone who encourages his teammates, someone who helps the TEAM get the win, someone who listens and learns, and thus gets to understand the game and their role within it.
2021 CLUB ATTITUDE AND ENTHUSIASM AWARD
WINNER – Anders Houghton – U10 Lions
It’s my pleasure to nominate Anders Houghton for the Grammar Juniors Club Attitude and Enthusiasm Award for 2021 on behalf of the coaches and fellow players of the Under 10 Lions team.
Anders has been a member of our team since its inception in the Under 6 grade and from day 1 has earned a solid reputation as a consistent leader up front for our team, both in terms of his attitude and enthusiasm for the game of rugby.
Playing in the forwards Anders has punched well above his weight, and always lifted his teams performances when the Lions needed it most. He is on time for training and games, is respectful to players and referees (even his father) , coaches and opposition alike, and always willing to learn new skills. He never fails in giving 110% for his team and team mates and is the first to rucks and mauls with his tenacious attitude. He is characteristically unselfish and plays for his team rather than as an individual. The coaches felt what set Anders apart from his teammates is his quiet understated work ethic, his never give up attitude, but best of all his unfaltering commitment to his club and team. It’s not unhelpful also that he bears a physical resemblance and playing style to a long revered All Black Josh Kronfield. He is always at the bottom of rucks, stealing or wrestling the pill from bigger and stronger opponents who never see it coming!
Coaches & Administrators Award:
Guidelines – this trophy is awarded to a coach, manager or administrator who goes the extra mile, is always available, works with the best interests of the team(s)/club at heart and aims to build the best team/club they can in every way. An enthusiastic rugby volunteer who never hesitates to put their hand up to help and to make things happen.
2021 Nominees for this award are:
Isaac Clayton – Ford
The 2021 Coaches and Administrators Award Winner – Steve Sinclair
Steve has been hugely committed to Grammar Juniors for well over a decade, as a coach, grade coordinator, referee and committee member. HIs impact at the club goes well beyond this particularly through his role as our club delegate on the Junior Rugby Committee of Auckland Rugby, where he has advocated strongly for our club and for the strong future of junior rugby more widely. Over the last 12 months he has led the clubrooms refurbishment project, working closely with Parnell Cricket and navigating the complex dual needs of the clubs. The exceptional result, which will endure for decades to come, is testament to his determination and hard work. Steve contributes unreservedly, can always be relied on and has the interests of all 400 boys in the club at heart. He has at least another season in him yet, but his contribution in 2021 has been particularly remarkable and he is a very deserving winner of the Club Coach of the Year Award.
Blyth Cup for Commitment to Rugby
Guidelines – this trophy is awarded to a player in Grade U12 or U13 who has been committed to the game of rugby and the Grammar club throughout his junior rugby years, enjoyed the camaraderie, shared the ups and downs, learned from all the experiences, respected coaches and teammates, built on his skills, played his heart out, loved the moments, harnessed the passion, understood the dedication etc. Not the star of the show, but a player who has always been there, never given up, tried his best, and stuck it out through all the years. A player who is acknowledged and respected by his peers for all he contributes across the board, not just playing on the field.
THE 2021 BLYTH CUP WINNER – Alexander Worth
I am the coach of the U8 Panthers and would like to nominate Alexander Worth for the Blyth Cup for his help throughout the season. He comes down before his training every Wednesday and does a great job at helping to warm up the team. He is enthusiastic and shows a great knowledge and love of the game.
I have known and coached Alex since U8s. He is a dedicated trainer, and a keen listener, always willing to learn. He arrives early to team practices and games to fine tune his goal kicking religiously rain or shine, and the results show through. He is quietly understated and not one of the big talkers in the team, but he lets his actions do the talking instead. Once he crosses the white chalk, his intensely competitive instincts kick in, and he has turned into an indispensable force on defence making desperate cover tackles for his team. Alex also gives up his own time to help coach one of the younger grades, and has a natural instinct for helping others to improve. And after Saturday games, when we have all packed up and gone home, he will be seen down at Shore Rd, helping to put away the mini-posts, corner flags and sideline ropes. So I had no hesitation when nominating Alex Worth for this award, as the consummate rugby team man.
2021 – The Junior Player of the Year
Guidelines – this trophy is awarded to a player from U13. This player will have consistent and proven rugby skills and a true sense of team play. They will demonstrate reliability and commitment, discipline and dedication, as well as show leadership qualities. An outstanding player at all levels.
The recipient of this award has been selected by the U13 Coaches.
Winner – Max Caughey
Max is a great example to all of you young players here today, of a player who was not one of the stars a few years ago, but has since plugged away learning the game, training and working hard, and then this year has been his breakout season in the code. He has been our most consistent performer on the park, week in week out, with a massive impact as a dominant ball carrier to get those vital yards for his team past the gain line. It has been a real joy for his coaches to witness the boost in confidence that this brings. He maintains a constant presence, and is there for every practice and is available for every game. With his pivotal role in the team established, it has allowed his leadership on and off the field to flourish, and he is now a player that his team mates look to for guidance and inspiration. Our Junior Player of the year, with pride, is Max Caughey.
Club Longevity Recognition – The GJRFC Cap.
The purpose of this prestigious cap is to recognize players who have shown long term commitment to GJRFC throughout their rugby careers.
To be eligible for a cap….
Players that have been playing at Grammar Juniors for either:
- 8 seasons, or
- started playing at age 5 or younger
- have played continuously every year
- and will be attending Secondary School next year i.e. this is their last year at primary school
The following players receiving their longevity cap this year.
Congratulations boys on your long service to Grammar Juniors RFC
Recognition for the Senior Playing Group.
From U13 Whineray:
Our 2021 U12 Leavers
To all our leavers, you have shown commitment, enthusiasm and effort over your time with Grammar Juniors, and developed some incredible rugby talent along the way. We wish you all the very best for the future as you head into your high school years.
Also leaving will be a fine group of U13 Coaches and Managers and Referees in their last year at Grammar Juniors, many of who have supported their boys from U6 through till now. We acknowledge your long standing time, effort and commitment both on and off the field, not only to your teams, but to the club as a whole. We thank you for all your hard work.
On behalf of the parents of the U13 Whineray team, I want to recognise three coaches all of whom which have played a valuable and memorable role (spanning almost 16 years of combined coaching over 8 seasons) at Grammar Juniors Rugby Club.
Originally coached from day 1 Under 6 by Grade Coordinator John Worth, a man who has the most unrelenting commitment for this club. The Grammar Gold team coaching unit was later joined by well-known and talented surgeon of the game Janus Schaumkel. It is through his clinical approach to attack that we have enjoyed watching our boys carving up the opposition, while also putting some opposition teams in traction with rock solid defence.
Fast forward 2 years and at the invitation of a solid threesome, Ashley Hill resigned his bar oversight role at “Remuera South Rugby Club”, for a newly created high-performance role with the side. This promotion enabled Ash to further hone his coaching skills on real grass, amongst his favoured sunny northern slopes. Ash’s strategic approach to the game, is only matched by his willingness to also help coach and mentor opposition referees on the finer points of Junior rugby. This generosity is apparently limitless, and is best displayed when it comes to helping a referee identify an opposing team infringing at the bottom of a ruck from 100m away.
In 2020, in what was a difficult season for the team, one of the Coaches notably made the ultimate sacrifice for his team, and he would argue his family. When during a Covid level 4 lockdown he broke curfew and purchased a new Ford Ranger Ute, with the sports pack styling and mag wheels. Being medically minded, it was immediately clear to him that the only way to keep the team gear and tackle bags safe and hygienic was to transport them in his generous new rear tray, separating these items safely from his family passenger compartment. I’m not sure this level of selflessness and personal commitment to this club, his team and his family has ever been seen before…
In all seriousness though I want to personally and on behalf of the other parents thank each of the coaches;
- John, for your down to earth, no nonsense approach to coaching and administration generally and unfaltering “can do attitude” toward the club. Parents can’t remember a time when you have not been 100% involved and we appreciate the time and energy you have put into the Grade coordinator role over 8 years.
- Janus, for your genuine commitment and care of the boys on field and off, and for never showing an ounce of disappointment in them no matter what the result. Your calm, generous and considered nature and coaching style is hugely respected by the boys and parents alike.
- Ash, for your endlessly competitive spirit, wit and teaching the boys the finer subtleties of competitive sport. This coupled with teaching them that if you have to swear, you must always do it with eloquence, timing and flair of someone wearing a pinstripe suit, tie and pocket square.