Youthmark Awards 2023

Posted Thursday October 26, 2023

This year, two outstanding students, Mary Salvana and Dixie-Leigh Burr had their sporting and academic achievements recognised at the annual Youthmark awards for Southland. This prestigious event is sponsored by the Invercargill and Mataura Licensing Trusts and we are very thankful to not only have our students receive certificates and a framed photo and citation on our school walls but lucrative scholarships to University as well. Please read their very special citations below:

Mary Salvana

For Mary Salvana, ball is life! Mary is a promising basketballer whose blend of skill, speed, and court vision set her apart. Mary migrated from the Philippines when she was four and her love of basketball was ignited by watching her father play. Mary’s preferred position is Point Guard, where her fast footwork and ball-handling mean she is a standout on court. Currently, Mary plays for the Eastern Women’s Team in the Southland A Grade competition in Invercargill. Since 2018, Mary has played representative basketball for Eastern Southland and Southland. Her talent and dedication were recognised in 2021 when she received the title of Eastern Southland's Most Promising U18 Girls player and was honoured with the prestigious Muriel Archer Basketball Scholarship. Mary’s hot streak continued when she trialled for the New Zealand U17 Women’s Basketball Team in 2022. A play-maker on and off court, Mary generously contributes her time as a referee and coach for junior teams, supporting and inspiring others in the sport. Off the court, Mary excels academically. She gained excellence in NCEA Level 1 and Merit in Level 2. Mary has an eye for art and design and is intending to study architecture when she finishes school.

Dixie-Leigh Burr

He Manawa tītī

Dixie Burr exemplifies endurance and unwavering commitment. A talented sports woman, Dixie is passionate about rugby. Dixie began playing rugby for her hometown club of Mataura as a four year old. Today, Dixie plays for the champion Marist Senior Women’s team. Through hard work and determination, Dixie has built a reputation as a dynamic open-side flanker whose combination of agility, speed and physicality make her an asset in any team. Dixie’s name has been a constant in representative age-group squads for Eastern, Southland and Murihiku Māori rugby teams. Dixie was honoured with the prestigious Judy Holland Cup for being the most promising player in the Southland U19 team. Dixie’s outstanding performances have propelled her into Southland Hinds Rugby Team for the past two seasons as well as trialling for the New Zealand U18 Māori Girls team. Beyond her sporting achievements, Dixie's dedication to Te ao Māori shines brightly. As a leader of St. Peter's Kapa Haka rōopu, she wholeheartedly dedicates herself to elevating kaupapa Māori within her kura. Dixie's vision has led to the establishment of the Mareikura Leadership roles at St. Peter's College, a significant initiative aimed at nurturing stronger whanaungatanga amongst her school community