Kiwi teenager Lewis Clareburt topped off his breakout year with yet another accolade. This week, the surprise Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in the 400m IM took home the Tama a Ranginui Award at the 2018 Māori Awards Ceremony.
Arriving in New Zealand more than 1,000 years ago from their Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki, Māori are the tangata whenua, the indigenous people, of New Zealand. They make up 14% of the kiwi population and New Zealand’s Department of Tourism relays how the Māori ‘history, language and traditions are central to New Zealand’s identity.’
The Māori awards are meant to foster, promote and encourage sports people in the pursuit of excellence in their chosen sporting activities.
For his part, 19-year-old Clareburt was a late addition to his nation’s Commonwealth Games roster, having missed automatic selection in the 400m IM by just .10. The Victoria Scholarship recipient relished the Gold Coast spotlight, however and raced his way to the final, where he dropped an incredible 4+ seconds off his best effort. He clocked a final time of 4:14.42 and secured New Zealand’s first swimming medal of the Games.
You can see a full list of Māori Award winners here.