Tawera Nikau is an exceptional athlete and veteran of international rugby league at the highest levels, with a faithful following of fans in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. His career on the field has been spectacular, but events off the field have created an air of intrigue, especially his well-documented antagonism towards fellow Kiwi international Richie Blackmore - to the extent that he refused a spot on the New Zealand team if it meant playing alongside Blackmore. The tragic suicide of his wife, Lutetia and his recent motorcycle accident which resulted in the amputation of his right leg, have seen him occupy more than a few headlines. Undaunted, he has risen above his own personal loss and tragedy to become an inspirational figure, through his fight back to physical fitness and competitive sport, setting himself a personal goal to become a Paralympian, to his work with troubled youth in his hometown of Huntley, NZ, through the funding and establishment of a gym and training facility. He is also giving something back to league, and is coaching a Huntley-based team in the national league competition in 2004.
His story of life at the top of his sport, and the personal cost of his career and the challenges he has had to overcome, make for a gripping and revealing biography of an inspirational New Zealander.
Buy Standing Tall book by Richard Becht from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(234mm x 153mm x 16mm)
HarperCollins Publishers (New Zealand)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (New Zealand)
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Author Biography - Richard Becht
Richard Becht has been a journalist for 30 years, recently filling a combination of roles in print, television, radio and public relations. A former Acting Editor and Executive Producer of Daily News Programmes at TVNZ, the bulk of his career has been focused on sport. He is a sports correspondent on Linda Clark's Nine to Noon programme on National Radio, a regular contributor to Player magazine and he is now also the producer of ONE Sport's new weekly programme Gillette SportsFix. Becht has written almost 20 sports books including Richard Hadlee's Rhythm and Swing and titles on rugby league legends Graham Lowe, Gary Freeman and Dean Bell. He has covered numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Games, the America's Cup, three Rugby World Cups and the All Whites' trip to the World Cup soccer finals in 1982.