The Finn Lowery Foundation is delighted to announce that Ella Roberts and Luke Blackburn have won the 2021 Finn Lowery Award. Given last year was not your typical year, the Finn Lowery Foundation presented not one but two Finn Lowery awards. Given both were award recipient's applications were well regarded by the FLF trustees, both Ella and Luke have received a $2,500 scholarship.
Ella loves the sport of water polo, which she has played since aged 10 . She has always worked hard to maintain a solid and stable life in and out of the water. Throughout Ella’s time at North Harbour she has always been a committed, positive, member of her team and the club. Water Polo has been a constant in Ella’s life, something she has been able to rely on, a sport where she can spend time with her group of amazing friends. Ella has been a valued member of all our age group teams during the past years and is a current member of the U18B team this season. She continues to give back to the sport regularly by coaching a number of NH U12 teams over the past years. Ella loves sharing her passion for the sport with the next wave of young players just starting out in this sport. Support from her family has remained constant and Ella is keen to acknowledge her mother, who also volunteers in many roles within NH.
Luke has been playing water polo since the age of 7. He has played for NH since the u12 eg group and is a committed club member in every respect. In u14 his goal was to make the U14A boys team but he fell short of his goal, and the following year he was named in a NH u16 D team. For Luke quitting was never an option on the road to success. He was keen to find a way forward. With a positive mindset and a willingness to persevere, there was little beyond his reach. The attitude of being ready to work even in the face of challenges and despite odds is what has made all the difference in Luke’s life. Luke took this as an opportunity to work at the sport he loved and continued to train hard and work on developing his game. Eventually he made the u16A team and was rewarded with a National Title. Luke says WP has offered him an opportunity to make great connections with team mates and coaches, and has taught him the value of hard work and dedication. Much of what Luke has achieved over the years both in and out of the pool, he has had the solid support of his grandparents behind him throughout.
Finn Lowery Foundation Chair, Lynda Kearns, caught up with Korban Kirk this week, the Foundation’s inaugural winner of the Finn Lowery Award.
Here's a small overview of her chat with him:
Just under a year on from receiving the Finn Lowery Foundation Award, Korban tells me that he used his scholarship money last year to help fund his participation in the under 18’s team which achieved a bronze medal in the championship round. A broken collarbone at Christmas put a stop to water polo for a few months but he is now training again and hoping to play again in at least a Tier 2 team and ultimately in the under 21 team.
Korban has very much appreciated the financial support the scholarship has provided to him and particularly that he is able to now meet his own water polo costs without having to rely on family to do so. The big news for Korban is that he has commenced his five-year apprenticeship with MCB Plumbing. Korban is loving the opportunity this job gives him and his work environment. He is also moving into his first flat shortly. Life is looking good for Korban.
Korban encourages all club members to consider applying for the award this year. Entries for this are set to open soon and the Foundation is looking forward to hearing from anyone who would like to be considered.
The Finn Lowery Foundation is delighted to announce that Korban Kirk is the winner of the inaugural Finn Lowery award and scholarship, valued at $2,500. The quality of all the applications received made the decision of the trustees all the more difficult, but in the end, Korban was a clear and deserving recipient.
Korban has played water polo since he was 11 years old. His achievements in the sport include:
Since 2016 Korban has been a C grade referee and since 2019, he has been coaching the young elite North Harbour teams and players.
The trustees were impressed with Korban’s dedication to his chosen sport and standards of excellence achieved by him in both his performance in the pool and coaching and refereeing. The trustees were particularly impressed by Korban’s approach to challenges outside the pool, and to his commitment to furthering himself as a person. His qualities of courage and commitment were shared by Finn, for whom the award is named.
The Trust will make the scholarship monies available to Korban this week, and Korban will be formally presented with the award at the September event for the Foundation, the details of which will be released shortly.
The trustees warmly congratulate Korban and look forward to hearing from him as to how the award and scholarship will be utilised to support his aspirations.