Dilworth 2020 Sportsman of the Year: Edward Whyte

Awarded to the athlete who shows excellent sportsmanship, attitude, effort, overall athletic performance and achievement, the winner of the 2020 Sportsman of the Year Award deservingly went to Edward Whyte.

Edward’s sporting talents are as vast as they are diverse. He has captained the Dilworth 1st XV for the last two years (alongside completing three years on the team). Edward was also selected for the Auckland U18 team in 2019, the Blues U18 side in 2020 and for the Tongan Barbarians 7s team to compete at the World Schools Sevens in December 2020. In summer he swaps the oval ball for a 6-ounce cricket ball and has produced a number of quality bowling spells for the 1st cricket team, earning him the Most Valuable Player Award in 2020.

As well as being a member of the Senior A Volleyball team, he has displayed his athletic prowess, placing third overall in Senior Athletics, including winning the shot put and javelin, going on to represent Dilworth at the Central Zone Competition in shotput. To round things out, he finished in a commendable 5th place in the school senior cross country championships.

Dilworth Headmaster, Dan Reddiex describes Edward as a charismatic leader with excellent commitment and dedication to training and his team.

Grant Truman, team manager for Dilworth’s 1st XV team also admires Edward’s leadership qualities saying: “He's a leader that understands the game and is able to communicate that effectively amongst players. He's quite thoughtful and gets alongside the leadership group and stimulates a good conversation about what he thinks needs to happen and he's able to communicate that freely with coaches and management. When he's on the field he leads by example in terms of how he plays."

We spoke to Edward about his sporting journey, his passion for sports and what his plans are for the future.

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What is one of your first memories relating to sport? When did this become your passion?
One of my first memories relating to sport at Dilworth would be getting the opportunity as a Year 5 student to give new sports a try for the first time, playing both rugby and cricket. Both these sports eventually became passions of mine. It was great being able to play alongside my mates but also seeing the growth in my skills and knowledge in both sports.

What do you love most about sport?
Sport is something that I have quickly come to realise isn't just something that I play. I have noticed that it has become a crucial part of my day to day life, because I have so much love and passion for sports. The reason behind why I have so much love for sports is that it is something which helps you to make lifelong friendships with both teammates and also opponents. This is why I am able to see sports as something which is able to not only keep you out of trouble, but also something that you could make a living out of if you’re willing and determined enough to work hard in a particular sport you love.

What has been a highlight for you in your sporting journey so far?
There have been many highlights, although one that would really stand out from the others is being able to lead the Dilworth 1st XV for the last 2 years of school. Being given this opportunity is something that I will be forever grateful for as this had allowed me to open up more and use the leadership qualities that I have towards helping the development of the team. This highlight has also allowed me to be more willing to listen and learn from what others have to think and say about what I potentially could do to help improve as a captain on the field, as well as a positive leader towards others off the field.  

Where and what will you be studying next year and why have you chosen this?
Next year I will be studying Sports and Recreation Management at Otago University. The reason why I have chosen this is because sports is something that I have and always will be passionate about. I feel like my leadership qualities and speaking talents would also be beneficial to this area of study and career pathway.

What are some of your future ambitions?
My future ambition would be to continue to play sports, in particular rugby. I hope that by doing the right things and following the right pathway, I will be able to pursue professional rugby in the future alongside my university degree. I hope to find an occupation that will allow me to use the qualities I’ve been gifted with, towards helping others pursue their goals and aspirations while providing for my family.

January 14, 2021