Woodman adds local name to the Halbergs
There were Far North athletes when the Halberg Foundation announced the 27 finalists across six categories at the 56th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards — New Zealand’s pre-eminent event to honour 2018 sporting achievements.
The Mid North-born Portia Woodman’s Black Ferns Sevens teams which won the Sevens Rugby World Cups and gold medals at the Commonwealth Games is one of five successful teams in 2018 to make the shortlist in the ISPS Handa Team of the Year category.
Others are the All Blacks Sevens men, the NZ Football Under 17 Women’s team which finished third at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, the New Zealand women’s kayaking team which claimed silver at the Canoe Sprint World Championships; Vantage Black Sticks women’s hockey team who claimed gold at the Commonwealth Games and silver in the Hockey World League.
The 17 finalists in the para athlete/ team, sportsman, sportswoman and team categories will all be eligible for the supreme Halberg Award, the country’s highest accolade for sporting excellence.
2017 winner and 2016 supreme Halberg Award winner Lisa Carrington is a finalist again for the High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year award after winning gold and three silvers at the Canoe Sprint World Championships.
Carrington is joined by squash player Joelle King who won the Hong Kong Open plus two golds and a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, Jonelle Price who became the first New Zealand woman to win the Badminton Horse Trials followed by the Luhmuhlen event, and snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott for claiming bronze at the Olympic Winter Games.
Winner from 2017 Tom Walsh is up High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year*: Joelle King (squash), Jonelle Price (equestrian), Lisa Carrington (canoe racing), Zoi SadowskiSynnott (snowboarding).
ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year*: Nico Porteous (freeskiing), Scott Dixon (motorsport), Scott McLaughlin (motorsport), Tom Walsh (athletics)
ISPS Handa Para Athlete/Team of the Year*: Adam Hall (Para alpine skiing), Corey Peters (Para alpine skiing), Scott Martlew (Para canoe racing), Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming).
ISPS Handa Team of the Year*: All Blacks Sevens (rugby union), Black Ferns Sevens (rugby union), NZ Football Under 17 Women again for the ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year after winning the World Indoor Championship, Commonwealth Games and Diamond League events. Also making the finalists is freeskier Nico Porteous for his bronze medal at the Olympic Winter Games, Australian Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin and 2013 Sportsman category winner, Scott Dixon, for claiming the IndyCar championship.
Sophie Pascoe is shortlisted again in the ISPS Handa Para Athlete/Team of the Year following a medal haul of five gold and two silver across the Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2018. Two Para alpine skiers achieved success at the Paralympic Winter Games — Adam Hall who won gold and bronze along with Corey Peters who claimed bronze, and Para canoe racer Scott Martlew who earned a silver medal at the Canoe Sprint World Championships.
2017 winner Gordon Walker is again up for the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year, along with Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting, Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw who led their teams to world cup and Commonwealth Games gold, New Zealand U17 Women’s Football Team coach Leon Birnie and New Zealander Joe Schmidt, who coached the Ireland rugby team.
The Sky Sport Emerging Talent award shortlist features Josh Armit who won gold at the Youth Sailing World Championships and White Fern Amelia Kerr who made history hitting 232 not (football), NZ Women’s Kayaking Team (canoe racing), Vantage Black Sticks Women (hockey).
Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year: Allan Bunting (rugby union), Clark Laidlaw (rugby union), Gordon Walker (canoe racing), Joe Schmidt (rugby union), Leon Birnie (football). Sky Sport Emerging Talent: Amelia Kerr (cricket), Anna Leat (football), Josh Armit (yachting), Lewis Clareburt (swimming), Maddison-Lee Wesche (athletics).
* Indicates the winner also eligible for the Supreme Award.
The winners will be announced at the 56th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards held on Thursday, February 21 at Spark Arena in Auckland and televised live from 8pm. out against Ireland. Also in contention are swimmer Lewis Clareburt who claimed a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, Anna Leat who competed in the NZ Football Under 20 and Under 17 Football Ferns teams and shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche who won gold at the Under 20 IAAF World Championships.
The Halberg Awards judges reviewed a record 93 nominations. Other awards include New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment (public vote category), Sport New Zealand Leadership, Lifetime Achievement and inductees into the Sports Hall of Fame.
“A record number of nominations provided the judges a challenging job to review and create the shortlist with a year that provided so many outstanding achievements,” says Shelley McMeeken, Chief Executive of the Halberg Foundation.
The annual awards is the major fundraiser for the Halberg Foundation, set up by Olympic athletics champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ) to enhance the lives of physically disabled young New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation.
The Halberg Foundation has a team of advisers who connect physically disabled young people to sport and recreation opportunities, deliver an inclusion training course on adapting physical activity and assist clubs, schools and organisations to provide inclusive events and programmes. The Foundation also hosts the Halberg Games.