Constable Selica Winiata the NZ Police Sportsperson of the Year

Getty Images via NZPA     23 Sep 2014     Getty Images

The 27-year-old police constable plays internationally for the Black Ferns and New Zealand women’s sevens team; at home she is vice-captain of both the Manawatu women’s NPC and Sevens teams.

At 155cm tall and 58 kilograms, Selica has a reputation as the “tiny speed merchant” of women’s rugby. She brings that same energy to the challenges of combining a top-level sporting career with her work at the criminal justice support unit in Palmerston North.

Black Fern captain Fiao’o Faamausili (the 2011 NZPA Sportsperson of the Year winner) said Selica was a deserving winner.

“She’s an excellent athlete with a lot of energy and a big heart. She’s a tough little cookie and not afraid to take on the big guns.”

Police Association President Greg O’Connor will present Selica with her award at the Palmerston North Police Station on Monday, September 22, as an acknowledgement of all the work she had put in to achieving her goals. “The sheer hard work and personal sacrifices Selica has made have earned her enormous respect from her colleagues and the wider community,” he said.

Last year, Selica won the inaugural Sky TV Fans Try of the Year award for a length-of-the-field try scored in the dying minutes of the second of three tests against England, sealing a series win for the Ferns.

At home, her Manawatu sevens team won the national tournament. She was also a member of the New Zealand women’s sevens team that claimed gold at the IRB Women’s Sevens Rugby World Series.

Selica’s interest in rugby emerged early on and she developed her skills in mixed teams until going to Palmerston North’s Freyberg High where she was able to join a girls team for the first time. At 14 she became the youngest player ever selected for the Manawatu women’s NPC team.

Policing and rugby are the cornerstones of Selica’s life. “In Police, I’ve learnt that sometimes you have to make quick decisions, which I also have to do on the field. I’ve also become more confident and decisive,” she said.

Now she is setting her sights on being part of the New Zealand women’s Sevens team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “No matter the outcome, I’ll be giving it my all, so I have no regrets.”