Petone’s Walk of Champions is a project that was launched in 1992 by the Jackson Street Programme. It was the passion of Roy Hewson and his dedication for this project that it continues today some 24 years on.
How did Petone become the “Cradle of Champions” a phrase coined by Sir Thomas Wilford, MP for Hutt from 1899 – 1929.
When you look back in time and follow Petone’s history it shows that after we received our first European Settlers, then the industrialists found Petone and with that brought a huge influx of young families who sought work.
Within 20 years the population had multiplied by 1000%. So what has all this to do with sports you ask? It was the influx of young families and the need to make their own fun that made sports such a feature of the life in Petone.
The Grand National Hotel became a focal point for men to meet and talk about sports and make plans to establish clubs.
The criteria for our “Champions” is simple: - a person who has represented New Zealand either while living in the Old Borough and playing a sport that is not catered for in Petone., or who has represented New Zealand while playing for a Petone Club. Those who have gained a national title are also recognised.
All our players have been sponsored by businesses, families, Hutt City Council and gaming machine funds.