Carrington wins 3rd Halberg sportswoman award in a row

By James Perry

Lisa Carrington claimed the Halberg Sportswoman of the Year award for third consecutive year but it was Timaru shot putter Tom Walsh who walked away with the Supreme Award on Thursday night in Auckland.

The 56th Halberg Awards were preseted at a ceremony at Spark Arena in Auckland tonight.  Carrington (Te Aitanga a Mahaki), who won a gold and two silver medals at the Canoe World Championships in Portugal last year, beat fellow Tai Rāwhiti product Joelle King (Ngāti Porou) who won two golds and a silver at the Commonwealth Games as well as her first elite title at the Hong Kong Open.

Ten awards and a Sports Hall of Fame inductee were presented in Auckland to honour and celebrate New Zealand sporting achievement in 2018.  Hosted by the Halberg Foundation, the event was also a major fundraiser for the charity set up by Olympic athletics champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ).

The Black Ferns Sevens team beat out their male counterparts the All Black Sevens, among others, to claim the Team of the Year award.  Led by Sarah Goss, the Women's Sevens Rugby team won Gold at the Commonwealth Games, before defending their World Cup title in San Francisco. 

Walsh picked up his second consecutive Sportsman of the Year award in recognition of a standout 2018 that saw him earn victories at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast as well as the World Indoor Championship and Diamond League events. 

Adam Hall won the Para Athlete/Team of the Year for claiming gold and bronze at the Paralympic Winter Games. 

Gordon Walker was named the Coach of the Year for a third consecutive year.  Walker, who coaches Lisa Carrington won the award ahead of Black Ferns Sevens Coach Allan Bunting (Tuhourangi), Clark Laidlaw (All Black Sevens), Leon Birnie (NZ Football Under 17 Women’s) and New Zealand born Irish rugby coach Joe Schmidt.

Sportswoman, Sportsman, Para-Sport and Team of the year category winners become eligible for the Supreme Halberg Award.

Maddison-Lee Wesche won Emerging Talent award. The shot putter took gold at the Under 20 IAAF World Championships, and won ahead of sailor Josh Armit, White Fern Amelia Kerr, Ngāti Te Wehi swimmer Lewis Clareburt and football player Anna Leat.

Former Black Fern Dr Farah Palmer was presented with the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award. Former supreme Halberg Awards winner and discus throwing champion Beatrice Faumuina was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.  Barry Hunt was also recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award for services to athletics.

The annual awards are the major fundraiser for the Halberg Foundation, the charity set up by Olympic athletics champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ), which aims 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 around the country who connect physically disabled young people to sport and recreation opportunities.. The Foundation also hosts the Halberg Games, a national three-day sports competition for physically disabled young people.

The full list of winners and finalists for the 56th Halberg Awards:                                                                                                                                                                 

Halberg Award winner: Tom Walsh (athletics)

Finalists: Lisa Carrington (canoe racing), Adam Hall (Para alpine skiing), Black Ferns Sevens (rugby union).

Sportswoman of the Year winner: Lisa Carrington (canoe racing) (Te Aitanga a Mahaki)

Finalists: Joelle King (squash), Jonelle Price (equestrian), Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboarding).

Sportsman of the Year winner: Tom Walsh (athletics)

Finalists: Nico Porteous (freeskiing), Scott Dixon (motorsport), Scott McLaughlin (motorsport).

Para Athlete/Team of the Year winner: Adam Hall (Para alpine skiing)

Finalists: Corey Peters (Para alpine skiing), Scott Martlew (Para canoe racing), Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming).

Team of the Year winner: Black Ferns Sevens (rugby union)

Finalists: All Blacks Sevens (rugby union), NZ Football Under 17 Women (football), NZ Women’s Kayaking Team (canoe racing), Vantage Black Sticks Women (hockey).

Coach of the Year winner: Gordon Walker (canoe racing)

Finalists: Allan Bunting (rugby union), Clark Laidlaw (rugby union), Joe Schmidt (rugby union), Leon Birnie (football).

Emerging Talent winner: Maddison-Lee Wesche (athletics)

Finalists: Amelia Kerr (cricket), Anna Leat (football), Josh Armit (yachting), Lewis Clareburt (swimming).

New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment winner:

Finalists:  Nico Porteous and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowsports), David Liti (weightlifting), Kelly Brazier (rugby union), Vantage Black Sticks Women (hockey), Amelia Kerr (cricket), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (rugby league), Auckland Rugby (rugby union), Black Caps (cricket), Anna Leat (football).

Sport New Zealand Leadership Award winner: Dr Farah Palmer (rugby union)

Hall of Fame inductee: Beatrice Faumuinā (athletics)

Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Barry Hunt (athletics)