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Kaino and NFL star shine at Samoan Sports Awards

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Jerome Kaino became the first sportsman to win both the Samoan Sports Awards Sportsman of the Year and the Supreme Award in the event's 15-year-history on Saturday in Auckland.

Having won the New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year Award and being named finalist for the IRB Rugby Player of the Year after being regarded as the All Blacks' leading performer in winning last year's Rugby World Cup, the 28-year-old now joins the likes of David Tua, Tana Umaga and Beatrice Faumuina who have won the Samoan Sports Awards Supreme title twice.

The most popular attraction at a glittering evening held at the Pullman Hotel was the presence of NFL star Paul Soliai from the Miami Dolphins as the guest speaker. Following the official presentations, guests queued for autographs and photos with the 28-year-old defensive player who earns more than US $12.5 million per season, a figure which is expected to increase with a number of rival teams chasing his skills.

He was in New Zealand as a guest of the Association and to promote awareness of the newly formed Paul Soliai Foundation, aimed at supporting youth in American Samoa, where he grew up. However, he enjoyed the Awards evening and particularly the presentation of the Samoan Sport's Association's Youth Scholarship Scheme in which he pledged financial support for 2012's recipients.

A star studded crowd also included rugby legends Michael Jones and Va'aiga Tuigamala, NZ Rugby President and former Auckland and Manu Samoa coach Bryan Williams and Auckland Mayor Len Brown amongst others.

The awards recognised the milestone achievements of Malil 'Mils' Muliaina and Brian Lima, and inducted All Black legend 'Smokin Joe' Stanley, 'The Finisher' James Leuluai and Netballer Joan Hodson (nee Solia) in to the Samoan Sports Hall of Fame.

Other winners included Auckland Blues Coach Pat Lam for Coach of the Year, Administrator of the Year Jerry Seuseu for his work with the Vodafone Warriors, Silver Fern debutant Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick for Junior Sportswoman of the year and Olympic boxing hopeful Joseph Parker taking Junior Sportsman of the Year.

Valerie Adams took the award for Pacific Sportsperson of the Year, while Black Fern Fiao'o Fa'aumausili won Senior Sportswoman of the Year. Buck Stowers of Genetics Gym took the Reverend Sio Community Service Award for his work with the 'Big Boys Club'.

A full list of winners is below:

Overall Sportsperson of the Year

Jerome Kaino

Senior Sportsman of the Year

Jerome Kaino

Senior Sportswoman of the Year

Fiao'o Fa'amausili

Pacific Sportsperson of the Year

Valerie Adams

Junior Sportsman of the Year

Joseph Parker

Junior Sportswoman of the Year

Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick

Coach of the Year

Pat Lam

Administrator of the Year

Jerry Seuseu

Reverend Sio Community Service Award

Buck Stowers

Samoan Sports Association Hall of Fame

Joe Stanley, James Leuluai and Joan Hodson

International achievement recognition

Malili 'Mils' Muliaina and Brian Lima

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