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Dean Bell and Papali’itele Peter Fatialofa to be inducted

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A New Zealand rugby league great and a Samoan rugby legend will be inducted to the Hall of Fame at the 2019 Ōtara Sports Awards.

New Zealand rugby league great Dean Bell and legendary Manu Samoa captain Papali’itele Peter Fatialofa will both be recognised with lifetime achievement awards before being inducted into the Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony on Saturday 30 November at Kia Aroha College.

While Fatialofa will be inducted posthumously, Bell will attend the prestigious event which honours the sporting achievements of Ōtara sports people including athletes, administrators and coaches.

"I’m extremely proud to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our new inductees, Dean Bell and Papali’itele Peter Fatialofa for their outstanding careers and contributions to their respective sporting codes," says Lotu Fuli, Chairperson of the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board.

"Dean and Papali’itele embodied Ōtara community values and a true trailblazer spirit. They both harnessed their homegrown talents to captain their countries and build great careers which inspired players and supporters around the world."

The judges panel selected the accomplished duo for their sporting excellence and success at the highest level of Rugby League and Rugby Union.

"I’m truly honoured to be recognised as an inductee to the Hall of Fame at the 2019 Ōtara Sports Awards," says Dean Bell, who grew up on Clarkson Crescent in the area and attended local schools Mayfield Primary School, Bairds Intermediate and Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate.

"I will always be grateful for my Ōtara upbringing. It’s a place that instilled old-school values that I’ve applied successfully during my sporting career in Australia, England, New Zealand and throughout life."

Fatialofa resided on Cobham Crescent, before moving to Preston Road and then Charntay Ave during the period he played provincial rugby for Auckland and the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Post-career, he coached at East Tamaki Rugby Club and completed his coaching certificate at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate.

"Our family are truly humbled by this esteemed honour for our late father," says Jeremiah Fatialofa, the oldest of nine children.

"He was a proud Ōtara man who had a big heart to serve community through rugby. He gave his best to help East Tamaki Rugby Club and also provide opportunities to young people in the area to make a career in the game he loved."

Bell and Fatialofa are the latest inductees to the illustrious Hall of Fame. They join Ruben Wiki, Tawera Nikau (both Rugby League), Eric Rush (NZ Sevens) and Temepara Bailey (Silver Ferns) of the Class of 2017. Brett Leaver, Mark Leaver (Black Sticks Hockey) and Monique Hirovanaa (Black Ferns) make up the Class of 2018.

Nominations for the 2019 Ōtara Sports Awards can be submitted at otarasportsawards.co.nz and close 7pm Sunday 3 November 2019. Candidates must have been a member of a club, school or live in the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, Otara subdivision in the qualifying period. All winners for the 13 sporting categories will be announced at the awards ceremony.

The 2019 judges panel is made up of Ōtara sporting and community leaders - Tagaloa Willie Maea (Chairperson, Otara Scorpion Rugby League), Apulu Reece Autagavaia (Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board), Magele Sosefina Paletaoga (Incoming CEO Otara Health Chartiable Trust), Judith Riki (Pouhiwa / Associate Principal Kia Aroha College) and Ian Toki (Chairperson, East Tamaki Rugby Club and Manager at Ōtara Library).

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