Sevens team receive another accolade

The Black Ferns Sevens delivering their acceptance speech. Photo. NZOC.

The Mount Maunganui-based Olympic gold-medal winning New Zealand Women’s sevens team has collected another accolade after being awarded the Best Female Team at the Tokyo Olympic Games at the ANOC Awards overnight.

The Association of National Olympic Committees Awards recognise the best of the best, with the Black Ferns Sevens teams among the winners at the ceremony held in Crete, Greece.

Team captain and team New Zealand flag-bearer Sarah Hirini says the team is thrilled to accept the award.

“This is a huge honour for us,” says Papamoa-based Hirini.

“It was unreal to win that gold medal and this award just makes that campaign even more special.

"We're really proud of our achievements and success over the last five years and we're excited for what's next.”

The team went through their Olympic campaign unbeaten, with wins against Kenya, Great Britain and the Russian Olympic Committee in pool play. A dramatic extra time victory over Fiji in the semi-final set up a gold medal match against France, New Zealand winning 26-12.

But it was not only their performances on the field that caught the eye in Japan. Their attitude and personality off the pitch saw them make global news with their refreshing and candid approach to the game. 

New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson has paid tribute to the team.

“This team continue to lead the way both on and off the field,” he says. 

“Their performance in Tokyo was the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact they have on the game of rugby. Its fantastic to see them recognised amongst the best in the world."

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith passed on her congratulations to the team.

“New Zealand was inspired by the efforts of our women’s sevens team in Tokyo,” she says

“This team put years of hard work into an amazing Olympic campaign and truly deserve this award.”

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