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Feted Black Ferns try scorer Selica Winiata named NZ Police Association Police Sportsperson of the Year

For the second time, Black Ferns vice-captain and fullback Constable Selica Winiata is the recipient of the New Zealand Police Association Sportsperson of the Year award.

Police Association president Chris Cahill presented Selica with the 2018 award at the Palmerston North Police Station on Tuesday, April 9.

Selica, 32, has always stood out from the pack. From her small stature (1.63 metres tall) to her ability to score length-of-the field tries, she has impressed the sporting world nationally and internationally, and at home in Palmerston North and Manwatu she is an inspiration to young people in her community.

In 2018, Selica was also captain of the Manawatu Cyclones, captain of the Manawatu Women’s Sevens (the first province to win back-to-back national titles that year) and was nominated for Manawatu’s Women’s Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Her ongoing service to the community involves working with the Highbury Whanau Recreation Centre and other local youth groups, being a Mana Wahine guest speaker and a facilitator with the Loves Me Not programme. In 2018, she refereed in the local fifteens/sevens module at the Sir Gordon Tietjens Sevens Tournament, taught rugby skills to girls at Central District high schools and juniors and ran a free boot camp.

Last year, Sky TV made a documentary about Selica and her career. She often appears on Sky TV sharing her expertise during panel discussions on rugby.

She is acknowledged by NZ Rugby as a mainstay of the Black Ferns, with her pace from fullback and on the counter making her a feared opponent.

Selica debuted for the Manawatu Cyclones in 2001 when she was just 14 and still at Freyberg High School, and set myriad records for her province. Her 62 tries are a Farah Palmer Cup championship record, and she has racked up 71 games and 398 points for the Cyclones. Her 110 points in 2012 is a championship record.

She debuted for the Black Ferns in 2008 and her 35 test tries, from just 31 internationals, are second only to Vanessa Cootes. In 2016 she was named NZ Rugby’s Women’s Player of the Year. In 2013 her try against England at Eden Park was voted the fans’ Try of the Year.

Selica also plays in the Black Ferns Sevens.

She previously won the NZPA Sportsperson of the Year Award in 2013.

Selicia works in road policing in Manawatu. Her Police colleagues who nominated her for the annual award say she deserves to be recognised because not only is she representing New Zealand, but she is representing Police. In both arenas, she has become a role model and celebrated for hard work and dedication towards others, reflecting the team culture she values so much.

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