The outstanding success of New Zealand athletes and teams on the world stage in 2014 has resulted in 27 finalists being named for six categories at the Halberg Awards - the country’s pre-eminent event to honour and celebrate sporting excellence. Sit skier Corey Peters is a finalist for the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson Of The Year.
The 52nd Halberg Awards, organised by the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, will honour the achievements of New Zealand athletes during the 2014 calendar year. Thirteen different sports feature with cycling providing the most finalists with six shortlisted.
Of the 27 finalists, 18 are in line for the supreme Halberg Award - the country’s highest accolade for sporting excellence. The winners of the Sportsman, Sportswoman, Disabled Sportsperson and Team of the Year award categories will be eligible for the top honour.
A Voting Academy of 28 former athletes, coaches and media representatives voted from a list of 83 nominations to determine the list of finalists. When judging the nominees the Voting Academy assess if their achievement represented excellence at the highest level. They also consider if it was the sport's 'pinnacle event', a world record, ranking or recognition, the quality of competition and the global nature of the sport.
The annual Halberg Awards is the major fundraiser for the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, the charity set up by Olympian Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ), which aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation. In 2013 the Foundation distributed 364 Halberg Activity Fund grants to physically disabled young people for adaptive sports equipment, lessons and camps.
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation CEO, Geoff Burgess, says a bumper year of achievements makes the finalists list a line-up of some of the best athletes and teams in the world.
“The supreme Halberg Award will be hotly contested by a plethora of successful athletes who have reached great heights in their respective sports in 2014.”
The award winners will be announced at the 52nd Halberg Awards at Vector Arena, Auckland, on Wednesday 11 February, 2015. The event will also be televised live on SKY SPORT.
Other award categories that will be presented on the night include; New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment, the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award, Lion Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and inductees into the Sports Hall of Fame.
The full list of finalists for the 52nd Halberg Awards:
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman Of The Year
Emma Twigg (Rowing), Lisa Carrington (Canoeing), Lydia Ko (Golf), Valerie Adams (Athletics).
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportsman of the Year
Brendon McCullum (Cricket), Brodie Retallick (Rugby), Richie McCaw (Rugby), Sam Webster (Cycling), Steven Adams (Basketball).
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson Of The Year
Corey Peters (Para-Skiing), Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather - pilot (Para-Cycling), Mary Fisher (Para-Swimming), Sophie Pascoe (Para-Swimming).
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Team Of The Year
Auckland City FC (Football), Kiwis (Rugby League), Men’s Pair – Hamish Bond, Eric Murray (Rowing), Men’s Team Sprint - Ethan Mitchell, Eddie Dawkins and Sam Webster (Cycling), NZ Men’s 49er Class Team - Peter Burling, Blair Tuke (Yachting).
Eliza McCartney (Athletics), Regan Gough (Cycling), Sam Gaze (Mountain Biking), Zoe McBride (Rowing).
SKY SPORT Coach Of The Year
Anthony Peden (Cycling), Gary Hay (Rowing), Gordon Walker (Canoeing), Stephen Kearney (Rugby League), Steve Hansen (Rugby).
The 28-strong Voting Academy comprises media representatives, former athletes and coaches is:
Adine Wilson, Andy Hay, Awen Guttenbiel, Andrew Mulligan, Alison Shanks, Brendan Telfer, Dana Johannsen, David Leggat, Duane Kale, Eddie Kohlhase, Farah Palmer, Fred Woodcock, Graeme Crosby, Hamish Carter, Jayne Kiely Jonathan Millmow, Marc Hinton, Mark Richardson, Michael Jones, Michelle Pickles, Mike Stanley, Phil Tataurangi, Ramesh Patel, Rikki Swannell, Ron Cheatley, Ron Palenski, Susie Simcock, Te Arahi Maipi.