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Get Ready to Celebrate Sporting Excellence: 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards Unveils 76 Outstanding Nominations

A wave of sporting brilliance surges as Halberg reveals the nominees for the 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards, marking a spectacular milestone in honouring athletic excellence. With an inspiring 76 nominations from National Sports Organisations and an esteemed independent Nominations Board, the stage is set for a celebration like no other.


Since its establishment in 1963 by the late Sir Murray Halberg, ONZ, these awards have been a beacon of recognition for extraordinary athletic feats. More than just a celebration, these Awards serve as the cornerstone fundraiser for the Halberg charity, to support the work of Sir Murray's legacy of ensuring equal sporting and recreation opportunities for young individuals with physical disabilities.


An independent Nominations Board of respected individuals from the sports sector, has confirmed the nominations in six categories. The winners will claim their well-deserved spotlight at the 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards, an event that promises an inspiring evening of celebration and recognition. The Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sport and Sky Open, straight from the heart of Spark Arena in Auckland, on Wednesday, 14th February 2024, starting at 8 PM.


The nominations come from achievements from 1st December 2022 to 30th November 2023, and represent a tapestry of excellence across 27 sporting codes, showcasing feats that embody dedication, perseverance, and sheer sporting prowess.


In the spotlight, the High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year category with 17 remarkable nominations from 15 diverse sports, featuring iconic names such as Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Ellesse Andrews, Dame Lisa Carrington, Tyla Nathan-Wong, and Stacey Waaka among other stellar talents.


The ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year category boasts a line-up of 12 exceptional nominees, showcasing talent from nine sports, including motorsports Shane van Gisbergen, Brendon Hartley, and Hayden Paddon, alongside the prowess of Aaron Gate, Sam Gaze, Ardie Savea, Tom Walsh, Marko Stamenić, Ryan Fox, Rachin Ravindra, and Shaun Johnson.


Meanwhile, the ISPS Handa Para Athlete/Para Team of the Year embraces inclusivity with 12 remarkable nominations, recognising outstanding achievements across Para Cycling, Para Athletics, Para Climbing, and Para Lawn Bowls, highlighting the strong spirit of these phenomenal athletes.


The ISPS Handa Team of the Year category witnesses a formidable assembly of 11 nominations across eight sports, including stellar teams in cycling, rugby, canoe racing, rowing, lawn bowls, coastal rowing, and underwater hockey, painting a canvas of collective excellence and teamwork.


All nominees for Sportswoman, Sportsman, Para Athlete/Para Team and Team are all eligible for the Supreme Halberg Award, the pinnacle of sporting distinction in New Zealand.


Nominations for the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year recognise the guiding lights behind these stellar performances. From Decade Champion Gordon Walker to Cory Sweeney Black Fern Sevens Coach, this category honours 16 unsung heroes who fuel these athletes' dreams.


The Sky Sport Emerging Talent category showcases eight rising stars whose impressive rise and exceptional talent promise a thrilling future for sports enthusiasts worldwide.


As the nominations now rest in the hands of the ISPS Handa Halberg Awards judges—a panel of former athletes, coaches, sports administrators, and sports media—the stage is set for the unveiling of finalists in January 2024.


The 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards—a night that glimmers with the brightest stars of the sporting universe—will unfold in a resplendent black-tie ceremony at Spark Arena, Auckland, on Wednesday, 14th February 2024. Secure your place at this electrifying event by visiting or reaching out to




Full List of Nominees for the 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards


High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year (eligible for Supreme Halberg Award)


Alex Edwards (spearfishing), Courtney Duncan (motorcross), Ellesse Andrews (cycling-track), Emma Twigg (rowing), Erika Fairweather (swimming), Erin Routliffe (tennis), Evie Corrigan (powerlifting), Lani Daniels (boxing), Dame Lisa Carrington (canoe racing), Luuka Jones (canoe slalom), Mea Motu (boxing), Samara Maxwell (cycling-mountain biking), Stacey Waaka (rugby-sevens), Tayla Bruce (lawn bowls), Tori Peeters (athletics), Tyla Nathan-Wong (rugby-sevens), Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snow sports)


ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year (eligible for Supreme Halberg Award)


Aaron Gate (cycling-track), Ardie Savea (rugby-union), Brendon Hartley (motorsport), Hayden Paddon (motorsport), Marko Stamenić (football), Paul Coll (squash), Rachin Ravindra (cricket), Ryan Fox (golf), Sam Gaze (cycling-mountain bike), Shane van Gisbergen (motorsport), Shaun Johnson (rugby-league), Tom Walsh (athletics)


ISPS Handa Para Athlete/Para Team of the Year (eligible for Supreme Halberg Award)


Anna Grimaldi (Para athletics), Anna Taylor (Para cycling), Ben Westenberg (Para cycling), Cameron Leslie (Para swimming and wheelchair rugby), Danielle Aitchison (Para athletics), Devon Briggs (Para cycling), Eltje Malzbender (Para cycling), Lisa Adams (Para athletics), Nicole Murray (Para cycling), Rachel Maia (Para climbing), Teri Blackbourn and Julie O’Connell (Para lawn bowls), Will Stedman (Para athletics)


ISPS Handa Team of the Year (eligible for Supreme Halberg Award)


All Blacks (rugby-union), All Black Sevens (rugby-sevens), Black Ferns Sevens (rugby-sevens), Black Fins (underwater hockey), Blackjacks (women’s lawn bowls), Jackie Kiddle and Matthew Dunham (coastal rowing), Men’s Madison–Aaron Gate and Campbell Stewart (cycling-track), Men’s Team Pursuit–Aaron Gate, Campbell Stewart, Tom Sexton and Nick Kergozou (cycling-track), New Zealand Warriors (rugby-league), Women’s K4 500m (canoe racing), Women’s Team Pursuit–Bryony Botha, Michaela Drummond, Emily Shearman and Ally Wollaston (cycling-track)


Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year


Adrian Hegyvary (cycling-track), Clark Laidlaw (rugby-sevens), Cory Sweeney (rugby-sevens), Damian Wiseman (Para cycling), Gordan Walker (canoe racing), Ian Foster (rugby-union), Isaac Peach (boxing), Jason Clarke (powerlifting), Lars Humer (swimming), Liam Watson (underwater hockey), Mike Rodger (rowing), Nicholas Flyger (cycling-track), Paul Manning (cycling-track), Sam Thompson (cycling-mountain bike), Sean Thompson (snow sports), Simon Finnel (cycling-track)


Sky Sport Emerging Talent


Ben Shirley (skate sport), Erice Van Leuven (cycling–mountain bike), Ethan Olivier (athletics), Julian David (climbing), Lucia Georgalli (snow sports), Milly Clegg (football), Tara Vaughan (canoe racing), Yanhao Li (figure skating)

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