New Zealand celebrated its biggest night for sport yesterday at Auckland’s Vector Arena and I’m here to fill you in on all the details. 2016 was a massive year for New Zealand sports and the 54th Halberg awards definitely did not disappoint.
Lisa Carrington was undeniably the ‘It Girl’ of the night, claiming the Sportswoman of the year award before being named the Supreme Halberg Award later on in the night. The Tauranga-born canoeist scored a bronze and gold medal at Rio and became the first female Kiwi athlete to win multiple medals at a single Olympics. Carrington was even nominated to carry the New Zealand flag at the closing ceremony for her outstanding results.
Mahe Drysdale was announced as the 2016 Sportsman of the year for his remarkable performance at Rio as well. The five-time World single sculls champion has been nominated for Sportsman of the Year five times since 2007 and is the only New Zealander who has ever won the award more than three times.
Liam Malone was named as the Disabled Sportsperson of the year after having an incredible 2016. Malone earned two golds and a silver medal at the Rio Paralympics in September. Gordon Walker beat the likes of Steve Hansen and Hamish Willcox for the Coach of the Year award while Peter Burling and Blair Tuke claimed victory in the team’s category. The yachting duo’s record-breaking regatta in Rio was enough to win them the award over the undefeated Bond and Murray.
New Zealanders fell in love with Eliza McCartney during the 2016 Olympics in Rio so it was no surprise when she was awarded the Best Sporting Moment. The 20-year-old took home a bronze medal at her first Olympic Games, smashing a height of 4.80m – a career best for the young athlete.
It was an awesome night dedicated to celebrating New Zealand’s top athletes and it proved to be one to remember. Here is a full list of the finalists and winners from the night, huge congratulations to everyone involved.
Supreme Halberg Award winner: Lisa Carrington (canoeing).
Finalists: Mahe Drysdale (rowing), Liam Malone (para-athletics), men’s 49er – Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (yachting).
Sportswoman of the Year: Lisa Carrington (canoeing).
Finalists: Luuka Jones (canoeing), Lydia Ko (golf), Dame Valerie Adams (athletics).
Sportsman of the Year: Mahe Drysdale (rowing).
Finalists: Joseph Parker (boxing), Nick Willis (athletics) Tom Walsh (athletics).
Disabled Sportsperson of the Year: Liam Malone (para-athletics).
Finalists: Anna Grimaldi (para-athletics), Mary Fisher (para-swimming), Sophie Pascoe (para-swimming).
Team of the Year: Men’s 49er – Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (yachting).
Finalists: Men’s pair – Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (rowing), Team Sprint – Eddie Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster (cycling), Women’s 470 – Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (yachting).
Coach of the Year: Gordon Walker (canoeing).
Finalists: Hamish Willcox (yachting), Jeremy McColl (athletics), Steve Hansen (rugby).
Favourite Sporting Moment: Eliza McCartney (athletics).
Emerging Talent: Campbell Stewart (cycling).
Finalists: Dylan Schmidt (trampoline), Finn Bilous (snow sports), Maynard Peel (cycling BMX).
Leadership Award: Sophie Pascoe (para-swimming).
Lifetime Achievement Award: Myra Larcombe (swimming).
Hall of Fame inductees: Ruben Wiki (league), Don Jowett (athletics).