Two New Inductees for South Taranaki Sporting Hall of Fame
Rugby league star Graeme West and pro golfer Michael Campbell are the latest additions to the prestigious South Taranaki Sporting Hall of Fame. Both Hāwera born, they join five other sporting elites at the TSB Hub in Hāwera.
The South Taranaki Sporting Hall of Fame started in 2017, with Roger Cox (shearing), Adine Wilson (netball), James Hunter (rugby), Graham Mourie (rugby) and Stan Lay (javelin), already inducted. Inductees have to meet elite sporting criteria, as well as have a strong association to South Taranaki and have spent a significant period of their life living in the District.
League player and coach, Graeme West, who now lives in Auckland, played 18 tests for the NZ Kiwis team and has an impressive portfolio playing and coaching rugby league both in New Zealand and England. The Graeme West Trophy is still played for between primary schools in Hāwera and surrounding areas.
Graeme was in attendance to receive his induction on Wednesday night, and spoke of his life in rugby league, saying what a huge honour it was to receive the induction in his hometown.
Michael Campbell, pro golfer, currently living in Spain, was represented by friends and family on the night who accepted his induction on his behalf. Michael turned professional in his sport in 1993, winning 15 professional titles, his most prestigious being the US Open Championships at North Carolina in 2005, beating Tiger Woods by two strokes.
Both Graeme and Michael were honoured by South Taranaki District Mayor Phil Nixon, who ran the ceremony. Friends and family of the inductees, councillors and Hāwera Rotary Club members were also in attendance.
On the same date as the induction ceremony, two other South Taranaki sporting greats; Jazz Muller and Sir Peter Snell, passed away. Brian “Jazz” Muller (born and lived in Eltham) was a rugby legend who played 35 matches for the All Blacks including 14 internationals. Peter Snell, born in Ōpunakē before shifting to the Waikato aged 11, was New Zealand’s greatest athlete being a three-time Olympic champion and one of the best middle-distance runners the world has seen.
The Sporting Hall of Fame is a partnership between the Hāwera Rotary Club and the South Taranaki District Council.