Bay of Plenty sporting stars Lisa Carrington, Kane Williamson, and Noeline Taurua are among 26 finalists that have been announced for the 57th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards – New Zealand’s pre-eminent event to celebrate and honour sporting achievements from 2019.
The ISPS Handa Halberg Awards judges reviewed 70 nominations from national sports organisations to create the shortlist, recognising achievements from December 1 2018 to November 30 2019.
Seventeen finalists in the Sportwoman, Sportman, Team and Para athlete/team categories are all eligible for the supreme Halberg Award – the country’s highest accolade for sporting excellence.
2018 supreme Halberg Award winner Tom Walsh is a finalist for the ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year after placing first overall in shot put at the 2019 IAAF Diamond League.
Walsh is joined by Bathurst winner Scott McLaughlin, UFC Middleweight Champion title winner Israel Adesanya and BLACKCAPS captain Kane Williamson who led his team to the ICC Cricket World Cup final.
Last year’s High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year canoe racer Lisa Carrington is a finalist again after a successful 2019 which saw her claim two world titles.
Laura Langman, captain of the Netball World Cup winning Silver Ferns team, makes the shortlist along with Zoi Sadowski-Synnott who produced New Zealand’s first Snowboarding World Championships gold medal. Courtney Duncan is also a contender after her Motocross World Championship win.
Six time winner Sophie Pascoe makes the finals in the ISPS Handa Para athlete/team of the Year category again after achieving four gold medals at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. Pascoe is joined by fellow Para swimmer Cameron Leslie, who claimed two golds and a world record at the same event and a bronze with the Wheel Blacks at the Asia Oceania Wheelchair Rugby Championships.
The Para cycling team of Emma Foy and Hannah van Kampen, who claimed two world titles in 2019, are shortlisted along with Lisa Adams who earnt her first shot put gold at the World Para Athletics Championships.
Last year’s ISPS Handa Team of the Year winner the Black Ferns Sevens are one of five teams up for the hotly contested category after claiming the World Sevens Series.
Netball World Cup winners the Silver Ferns, ICC Cricket World Cup finalists the BLACKCAPS and two rowing world championship crews; the Women’s Double of Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue and Women’s Eight are also on the short list.
Five outstanding coaches are in line for the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year award including three time winner Gordon Walker who supported Lisa Carrington and the NZ Sprint Kayak team to four world titles.
Kane Williamson. Image: Daniel Hines/SunLive.
Pukehina’s Noeline Taurua makes the finals after guiding the Silver Ferns to claim the Netball World Cup, Eugene Bareman is up for leading Israel Adesanya to his UFC Middleweight Champion title as well as Sophie Pascoe’s coach Roly Crichton. Gary Hay who supported the Women’s Eight and Women’s Pair teams to gold respectively at the World Rowing Championships is also in line for the honours.
The Sky Sport Emerging Talent category features of a group of young athletes who achieved big things in 2019 including; Alice Robinson who won gold in the giant slalom at the FIS Alpine World Cup and swimmer Erika Fairweather who earned the 200m freestyle gold at the FINA Junior World Championships.
Also in contention are cyclist Laurence Pithie who claimed two World Championship titles at the UCI Junior Track World Championships and sailing crew of Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan who gained gold at the Youth Sailing World Championships.
The winners will be announced at the 57th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards ceremony on Thursday 13 February 2020 at Spark Arena in Auckland and televised live on SKY SPORT and free to air on Prime TV and the broadcast will include closed captioning.
Other awards presented during the ceremony include; New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment, Sport New Zealand Leadership, Lifetime Achievement and inductees into the Sports Hall of Fame.
The Awards were created by Olympic champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ) in 1963 to honour sporting excellence and as a major fundraiser for the Halberg Foundation – his charity which aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled young New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation.
Noeline Taurau. Image: Michael Bradley Photography.
“The finalists list represents another outstanding year of sporting achievements in 2019. We look forward to honouring the athletes, teams and coaches, culminating in the overall supreme Halberg Award winner on 13 February. It’s fantastic to have the ceremony screened on Sky Sport and free to air through Prime TV, giving more New Zealanders the opportunity to celebrate with us at home,” says Shelley McMeeken, Chief Executive of the Halberg Foundation.
The Halberg Foundation has a team of Advisers around the country who connect physically disabled young people to sport and recreation opportunities, they also deliver an inclusion training course on adapting physical activity and assist clubs, schools and organisations to provide inclusive events and programmes. The Halberg Games is a three-day national sports competition for physically disabled young people.
57th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards finalists:
ISPS Handa Team of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Black Ferns Sevens (rugby)
Silver Ferns (netball)
Women’s Eight (rowing)
Women’s Double - Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue – (rowing)
ISPS Handa Para athlete/team of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Cameron Leslie (Para swimming, wheelchair rugby)
Emma Foy and Hannah van Kampen (Para cycling)
Lisa Adams (Para athletics)
Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Courtney Duncan (motorcycling)
Lisa Carrington (canoe racing)
Laura Langman (netball)
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboarding)
ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Israel Adesanya (mixed martial arts)
Kane Williamson (cricket)
Scott McLaughlin (motorsport)
Tom Walsh (athletics)
Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year
Eugene Bareman (mixed martial arts)
Gary Hay (rowing)
Gordon Walker (canoe racing)
Noeline Taurua (netball)
Roly Crichton (Para swimming)
Sky Sport Emerging Talent
Alice Robinson (ski racing)
Erika Fairweather (swimming)
Laurence Pithie (cycling)
Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (yachting)