Pictured above: ISPS Handa Halberg Awards Sportsman of the Year and Supreme Halberg Award Winer, Tom Walsh, with ISPS Handa Patron (right) Sir John Key and ISPS Handa Ambassador (left) Richie McCaw.
Tom Walsh has claimed New Zealand’s top sports honours for 2018 at the 56th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards during a ceremony at Spark Arena in Auckland tonight.
The shot putter won the ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year for the second consecutive year before being presented the supreme Halberg Award by Rob Waddell.
Walsh was recognised for his outstanding achievements in 2018 including victories at the World Indoor Championship, Commonwealth Games and Diamond League events. He edged out freeskier Nico Porteous and motor racers Scott McLaughlin and Scott Dixon to claim the ISPS Handa Sportsman category.
Ten awards and a Sports Hall of Fame inductee were presented during the live ceremony to honour and celebrate New Zealand sporting achievement in 2018. Hosted by the Halberg Foundation, the event was also the major fundraiser for the charity set up by Olympic athletics champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ).
Lisa Carrington claimed the High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year award for her third year running. The canoe racer who claimed a gold and three silver medals at the Canoe Sprint World Championships was named ahead of squash player Joelle King, horse rider Jonelle Price and snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott.
Adam Hall won the ISPS Handa Para Athlete/Team of the Year for claiming gold and bronze at the Paralympic Winter Games. The Para alpine skier headed off Para swimmer Sophie Pascoe, Para canoe racer Scott Martlew and fellow Para alpine skier Corey Peters.
The Black Ferns Sevens claimed the ISPS Handa Team of the Year honours. The women’s team, who won the Sevens Rugby World Cup and gold at the Commonwealth Games collected the hotly contested award ahead of the NZ Football Under 17 Women Team, NZ Women’s Kayaking Team, Vantage Black Sticks Women and All Blacks Sevens.
Gordon Walker was named the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year for a third consecutive year. Lisa Carrington’s coach beat out Allan Bunting (Black Ferns Sevens), Clark Laidlaw (All Black Sevens), Leon Birnie (NZ Football Under 17 Women’s) and New Zealander Joe Schmidt (Ireland rugby).
Maddison-Lee Wesche won the Sky Sport Emerging Talent award. The shot putter who claimed gold at the Under 20 IAAF World Championships was named ahead of sailor Josh Armit, White Fern Amelia Kerr, swimmer Lewis Clareburt and football player Anna Leat.
Anna Leat’s successful penalty shootout against Japan, leading New Zealand into the semifinal of the Fifa Under-17 Women’s World Cup was chosen as New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment of 2018 – the only award voted on by the public.
During the ceremony, 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 is 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, 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 – a national three-day sports competition for physically disabled young people.
The full list of winners and finalists for the 56th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards:
Halberg Award winner: Tom Walsh (athletics)
Finalists: Lisa Carrington (canoe racing), Adam Hall (Para alpine skiing), Black Ferns Sevens (rugby union).
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year winner: Lisa Carrington (canoe racing)
Finalists: Joelle King (squash), Jonelle Price (equestrian), Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboarding).
ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year winner: Tom Walsh (athletics)
Finalists: Nico Porteous (freeskiing), Scott Dixon (motorsport), Scott McLaughlin (motorsport).
ISPS Handa 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).
ISPS Handa 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).
Buddle Findlay 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).
Sky Sport 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:
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)