A young athlete from Auckland’s North Shore is embarking on a year of elite sports sponsorship after outperforming others from around the country to be named supreme winner of the 2012 ASICS Sports Awards.
At just 12 years old, Bernadette Doyle from Murrays Bay Intermediate School will get a taste of what it’s like to be a professional athlete after winning the national ASICS awards, which are focused on recognising outstanding sporting achievements in intermediate-aged children.
Throughout the year the awards were judged at the end of each school term across five regions nationwide, with each term’s regional winners going on to compete for the supreme title. As the winner of the 2012 awards, Bernadette takes on the role of ASICS Junior Elite Athlete for the duration of 2013, receiving a generous product allowance and mentoring from other ASICS-sponsored athletes who include the likes of Ross Taylor, Casey Williams and Manu Vatuvei.
From a young age Bernadette has proven herself as a talented all round athlete, achieving numerous sporting successes. In November last year she won gold in the 100m butterfly at the Auckland Championships, breaking the Auckland record for 11 year old girls. She has excelled in surf lifesaving and holds the national title in run-swim-run for her age group and in October broke two New Zealand records at the national pool champs.
In waterpolo she was the only female in the tournament team for the North Island Intermediate Schools A Grade Tournament as well as making the tournament teams for both the Winterfest and Tim Sonderer Tournaments. She represents North Harbour in the under 12A team and the under 14A team. She has also been selected for a New Zealand under 15 trial in 2013.
In May 2012 Bernadette was selected for the North Harbour netball A representative team, while in athletics she represented Auckland as a member of the 2012 Trans-Tasman Athletics Team, beating her Aussie counterparts to win gold in both shotput and highjump. To top off an amazing year, Bernadette won the North Harbour Intermediate Schools triathlon in November.
Bernadette says that although she has enjoyed achieving national and regional titles in her various sports, breaking records has always been a huge goal.
“I have been fortunate enough to have broken numerous club records for swimming and athletics but going to the next level and breaking North Harbour (high jump) and Auckland records (butterfly 2011 and 2012) has been an absolute thrill. The highlight though was breaking two New Zealand Surf Pool champs records within an hour of each other,” says Bernadette.
Bernadette is a Year 8 student at Murray’s Bay Intermediate where her sporting achievements are admired by her peers and teachers. Colin Dale, principal of Murrays Bay Intermediate, says it is a privilege to have such a talented special student at the school. “Bernadette is a superb sports person who clearly has a huge future as a young athlete. We are very proud of her.”
As a multi-talented sports person, Bernadette is a deserving winner, says ASICS Sports Awards judge and Radio Sport broadcaster, Kent Johns. “Bernadette has fashioned a tremendous record as a young athlete and clearly has that rare ability to excel at anything she turns her hand to. There were many worthy candidates again this year but Bernadette was definitely the pick of them. Congratulations on her achievement,” adds Kent.
Bernadette’s mother Helen says Bernadette is absolutely thrilled about her win. “She has always loved sport with a passion and winning the ASICS award has been the icing on the cake for a wonderful sporting year.”
The awards were started three years ago by ASICS to encourage young New Zealanders to strive to achieve their sporting goals says ASICS’ Jenny Holdaway.
“The awards have delivered some absolutely outstanding young athletes who will be among the country’s sport stars of tomorrow. Bernadette Doyle is a stand out all round athlete and we’re thrilled to be able to award her the supreme title. Her commitment and dedication to multiple sports at such a young age is admirable and we know she’ll be a name to watch for the future.”