World champ Black Ferns captain - NZ Police Association Sportsperson of the Year
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This Friday, as captain of the Black Ferns and one of the most influential players in women’s rugby today, Fiao'o will accept the 2017 award from Association President Chris Cahill.
“This award is in recognition of another year of great achievements in both national and international rugby.” Mr Cahill said.
As well as taking out the Rugby World Cup in Belfast last year, Fiao’o:
- As a Black Fern, became New Zealand’s most capped player, reaching 50 tests at the World Cup (now 52)
- Played with Auckland Club women’s champions Marist
- Reached 100 games for the Auckland Storm
- Was named No.1 hooker in the Women’s World 15 rugby team
- Chosen as the NZ Herald New Zealander of the Year
Her Black Ferns team was named the World Rugby Team of the Year at the World Awards and at home - ASB Team of the Year.
This year she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her services to sport.
“Fiao’o’s work ethic and willingness to take on a challenge has earned her respect from her colleagues, fellow athletes, and the wider community. Her achievements reflect positively on Police too,” Mr Cahill said.
“Train hard or go home” is her motto and the physicality and mental preparation is what she loves about rugby.
“You’ve got to go in hard and tough it out, much like the situations we come up against in policing,” Fiao’o said.
NZ Police Sportsperson of Year award background
Since 2002 the NZ Police Association has sponsored the Police Sportsperson of the Year Award, acknowledging the outstanding national sporting excellence achieved by members of Police. For over 40 years, this award has recognised members of Police who have excelled at their sport at a national level. It is organised by Police Sport.
Previous nominees and recipients include:
Rachel Clarke, Champion Surf Skier; Selica Winiata, Black Fern; Melissa Mae Ruru, NZ Volleyballer; Fiao'o Fa'amausili, world champion Black Fern; Sian Law, Commonwealth Games Wrestler; Jeff McGrath, Ironman/Triathlete; Grainne Scott, MVP NZ Lacrosse Team & Captain Canterbury Women’s Ice Hockey Team; Michelle Nunn, Captain of the NZ Women’s Wheel Chair Basketball Team - the Wheel Ferns; Cowboy Action Shooting World Champion Tracey Ball; NZ Black Cap cricketer Shane Bond; Atlantic Rowers Steve Westlake and Matt Goodman; Silver Fern Jenny-May Coffin; All Blacks Murray Pierce; John Gallagher and Blair Larsen; Kiwi rugby league star Sam Stewart; All White Roger Gray; Hockey internationals Shane Collins, Scott Anderson and Karen Smith; cricketer Sarah Illingworth; lawn bowler Phil Skoglund; triathlete Steve Farrell; athlete Andrew Collin; and martial artist Karen Vaughan.