8 Feb 2018

Halberg Awards: Team NZ takes away top award

11:59 pm on 8 February 2018

Team New Zealand sailors have been named the 2017 supreme award winners at the annual Halberg Sports Awards.

The America's Cup winning sailing syndicate was named the team of the year, before being presented the supreme award by Halberg Disability Sport Foundation patron the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy at Spark Arena.

Sportswoman of the year Lisa Carrington (canoe sprint), sportsman of the year Tom Walsh (shot put) and disabled sportsperson of the year Sophie Pascoe (swimming) were the others in contention for the major prize on offer.

It is the second time Team New Zealand have won the supreme Halberg award, after they also claimed the gong for their first America's Cup triumph in 1995.

On the wrong end of one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history in 2013, when holders Oracle Team USA came from 8-1 down for a 9-8 victory to retain the Auld Mug in San Francisco, the syndicate battled against the odds to return the silverware to Kiwi shores last year.

The last competitors to arrive in Bermuda, Team New Zealand were dominant on their way to the Cup match, where they gained their redemption with a thumping 7-1 victory.

The Black Ferns rugby side, the Blacks Sox softballers and the women's K2 500m canoe sprint duo of Carrington and Caitlin Ryan, all world champions in 2017, were the other nominees for the team of the year prize.

In the sportswoman's category, Carrington claimed honours for the second consecutive year after she bagged medals, including two gold, in all her four events at the World Kayaking Championships.

The double Olympic champion edged out golfer Lydia Ko, Black Ferns Portia Woodman and double international Black Fern and Black Ferns Sevens player Sarah Goss.

Walsh was a popular winner of the sportsman of the year award, thanks to becoming New Zealand's first male to win an IAAF Track and Field Championship.

Walsh headed off All Blacks star Beauden Barrett, Formula One driver Brendon Hartley and Blackcaps batsman Ross Taylor for the silverware.

Pascoe's win was her fifth in Halberg disabled sportsperson of the year category, the para-swimmer setting no less than six world records in 2017.

Athletics pair William Stedman and Holly Robinson and para skier Corey Peters were the other nominees.

Canoe racing mentor Gordon Walker was named coach of the year after guiding four boats to medal-winning performance at the world championships.

Walker beat out Mark Sorenson of the Black Sox, Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore and rowing coach Gary Hay for the prize.

Track cyclist Ellesse Andrews, who won the individual pursuit and set a world record at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in 2018, received the Emerging Talent award, while All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was presented the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award and Olympic rowing champions Rob Waddell was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

Morrie Chandler was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award for services to motorsport.

The annual Halberg Awards is the major fundraiser for the Halberg Foundation, the charity set up by Olympic champion Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ) in 1963 to enhance the lives of physically disabled young New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation.

55th Halberg Awards winners and finalists

Supreme Halberg Award

Winner: Emirates Team NZ (Yachting)

Finalists: Lisa Carrington (Canoe Racing), Tom Walsh (Athletics), Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming).

High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year

Winner: Lisa Carrington (Canoe Racing)

Finalists: Lydia Ko (Golf), Portia Woodman (Rugby Union), Sarah Goss (Rugby Union).

Sportsman of the Year

Winner: Tom Walsh (Athletics)

Finalists: Beauden Barrett (Rugby Union), Brendon Hartley (Motorsport), Ross Taylor (Cricket).

Halberg Disabled Sportsperson of the Year

Winner: Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)

Finalists: Corey Peters (Para alpine skiing), Holly Robinson (Para athletics), William Stedman (Para athletics).

Team of the Year

Winner: Emirates Team NZ (Yachting)

Finalists: Black Ferns (Rugby Union), Black Sox (Softball), Women's K2 - Lisa Carrington & Caitlin Ryan (Canoe Racing).

Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year

Winner: Gordon Walker (Canoe Racing)

Finalists: Gary Hay (Rowing), Glenn Moore (Rugby Union), Mark Sorenson (Softball).

Emerging Talent

Winner: Ellesse Andrews (Cycling)

Finalists: Josh Armit (Yachting), Matthew MacDonald (Rowing), Nico Porteous (Freeski).

Sport New Zealand Leadership Award: Steve Hansen (Rugby)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Morrie Chandler (Motorsport)

Hall of Fame inductee: Rob Waddell (Rowing)

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