First 14 members inducted into WBHS sports hall of fame


July 08, 2019 - 102 views

All three of Emmett Gradwell's boys are named after boxers.

The 1998 New Zealand welterweight champion brought his oldest son Oscar (8) to Oamaru for the Waitaki Boys' High School inaugural Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Loan and Merc on Saturday night.

And he brought Oscar up with him on stage to accept the honour.

But the boy might not follow in his father's pugilistic footsteps.

"He's football mad," Mr Gradwell told the crowd.

After the ceremony, he said the night had been "really special".

"I missed out on the pinnacle," he said, never having competed in the Olympics, or Commonwealth Games.

But the five-time New Zealand champion was "absolutely honoured" to be among the first inductees.

"It's special, it's good," he said.

Mr Gradwell and 13 other men entered the hall as the first athletes inducted, at the black tie event.

From Gerald Keddell, track and field, who attended Waitaki Boys' in 1900-03, to Dylan Kennett, cycling, 2008-11, the school's sporting history was celebrated after the newly created Waitaki Boys' sports advisory council developed the idea about two years ago.

The council would build the school's sports development fund, rector Darryl Paterson said. It would focus its funding on pupil athletes in "less mainstream sports", but would also provide seed funding for sports-related capital projects at the school.

Two trophies were presented to pupils as well: the Athol Hudson Memorial Cup to year 13 pupil Forrester Smyth, of Oamaru, and the Gerald Keddell Memorial Cup to Kaleb Hayes, year 13, of Oamaru.

The Waitaki Boys' hall of fame inductees were. -

Ian Hurst, Scott Anderson, Gerald Keddell, Dylan Kennett, Emmett Gradwell, Parke Harris, Gary Robertson, Russell (Rusty) Robertson, William (Bill) Smedley, George Paterson, Keith Heselwood, Winston Stephens, Athol Hudson, and John (Jack) Sutherland.

The night was hosted by former Waitaki Boys' pupil, broadcaster Peter Williams.

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