Hillcrest High School has honoured the late Timothy Amai with a memorial trophy in his name.
The Rugby First XV award for most promising player will now be known as the Timothy Amai Memorial Trophy.
“Tim made such a big contribution to rugby and Hillcrest High as a whole that we wanted to honour his memory and keep his legacy going,” rugby coach Ryan Cox said.
“He was hardworking, motivated, dedicated and put 110 percent in everything. This is a way to remember him, his legacy and what he represented.”
Family and friends were devastated when Tim died in a head-on car crash earlier this year in February.
The 20-year-old had only returned to New Zealand from a two-year mission in Fiji.
Tim has played rugby since he was six years old, playing for schools and clubs in Wellington and Hamilton.
He was captain of the Hillcrest High First XV in 2014 and also played for Waikato development under 18 rugby team. He had the opportunity to play rugby in America but he chose to serve a mission instead, Dad Koro said.
“He loved the game and was always trying to be better. But as much as he loved rugby, he loved the Lord even more.”
Three of the Amai children attended Hillcrest High and Tim’s two young sisters are there now.
Having a trophy dedicated in Tim’s name was an emotional time for the family, Koro said.
“It honours his legacy- but it is bigger than that. Tim was a great example and it was well known around circles that Tim didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and didn’t play on Sundays. The trophy is showcasing the Church and our values.”
Principal Kelvin Whiting called Tim a “top boy”.
“I know Church was an important part of his life and we respected that,” he said.
“Tim was just a wonderful young man in so many ways. As a person, a rugby player and as a leader. He was someone who was so well respected by the boys he played rugby with and with the students. He was all around excellent.”
Coach Ryan Cox said even as a non-member, he was proud of Tim and his decision to serve a mission.
“Everyone knew that a mission is what he wanted to do,” he said.
“Tim put on hold a very promising rugby career to do what he believed in. He put his faith first. You can only say well done to that. We were all proud of him.”