Hamuera Tainui is a Year 10 student at Linwood College and is our 2019 Sportsperson of the Year.
This is our highest and most prestigious award to be given in sport. It is not very often a junior student receives this award but Hamuera has had a very successful year in his sport of Boxing.
Hamuera’s season started by making the Canterbury Boxing team and a trip to Moranbah in Queensland to fight against an Australian opponent in the under 63kg division which Hamuera won. This led nicely into the New Zealand Golden Gloves competition which Hamuera also won before traveling with his own club, Woolston, to Sydney. Hamuera won his semi-final but lost the final against a German boxer by split decision. Hamuera then made the New Zealand development team and was back over to Melbourne to compete against the 8 times Australian champion where he lost to by split decision. While Hamuera was disappointed he didn’t win, his main focus was on the up and coming New Zealand Nationals which is the biggest and most prestigious competition of the year. Hamuera talks about ‘ring rust’ and explains, “It’s about getting lots of fights done in the ring to get the nerves out of your system and to be prepared and focussed on the fight you are doing. That’s why I have been fighting so much in preparation for Nationals”.
Nationals this year was in Hastings and Hamuera said he was feeling well prepared for this tournament. Come weigh-in thought, Hamuera was 500gms over the weight allocation. “I put a rubbish bag on under my hoodie and went running. It helps me to sweat and luckily I made weight."
Hamuera went on to win his first fight and was feeling good but couldn’t eat much, as you guessed it, he was over the weight cut-off so the rubbish bag was back on to go running again. Hamuera won his second fight by unanimous decision which took him straight into the finals. Getting ready for the finals he remembers, "Having butterflies in my stomach and my nerves started to kick in but all the training helped me to stay focused. It was pretty cool, I got to come out to my own theme song with my name being called out which gave me a burst of adrenalin”. Hamuera reflects on the first bell going and being jabbed in the head by his opponent. “After that happened, all my nerves went away and I wanted to win”. After the fight was over Hamuera said it was a split decision and when they called out his name that he won he was so happy. "I even did a dance. I was so happy afterwards I rang my mum and dad straight away, they are my biggest supporters. My mum is like my manager and I wouldn’t be able to do all I do without her and my dad is the mastermind that is always there behind me."
Hamuera said he loves boxing, “It’s in my blood, my dad and my uncle were boxers. At my gym, there is a wall of fame and now I get to be up there with my dad and that’s pretty mean."
Hamuera said that he trains about four times a week in the gym, plus running, and leading up to fights it increases to about six times a week. Hamuera’s next goals are to make the Canterbury and New Zealand development teams again, along with defending his title.
Linwood College is proud of Hamuera, his dedication, commitment and achievement in Boxing.