Familiar names among finalists for 2023 Halberg Awards

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Wayne Smith, Lydia Ko and Paul Coll are among the finalists for the 60th Halberg Awards. Photos / Photosport

The finalists for the 2023 Halberg Awards have been revealed.

There are a number of familiar faces as well, with Dame Lisa Carrington, Lydia Ko and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott again up for the Sportswoman of the Year award, while canoe sprint coach Gordon Walker will look to add another Coach of the Year award to his collection.

After an incredible run to Rugby World Cup glory, the Black Ferns are represented in three categories, with Wayne Smith up for Coach of the Year, co-captain Ruahei Demant up for Sportswoman of the Year and the group up for Team of the Year.

Cycling is also well represented among the nominees, with Ellesse Andrews (sportswoman), Aaron Gate (sportsman), and Craig Palmer (coach) up for awards following the success of their Commonwealth Games campaigns, while scratch race and omnium world champion Nicole Murray ( Para athlete) is also among the finalists.


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This year’s event, the 60th edition of the awards, will be both a significant milestone of achievement and one of reflection and remembrance as the first ceremony since the passing of the man whose name adorns this occasion.

The late Sir Murray Halberg re-established the awards in 1963 to honor and celebrate sporting excellence, and most importantly, the occasion formed the major fundraiser for the Halberg Foundation – a charity he established which aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled young New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation.

The winners will be announced on February 15.


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Full list of finalists

Para Athlete/Para Team of the Year: Adam Hall (Para skiing), Cameron Leslie (Para swimming), Corey Peters (Para skiing), Nicole Murray (Para cycling), Dame Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming).

Sportswoman of the Year: Ellesse Andrews (cycling – track), Dame Lisa Carrington (sprint kayak), Lydia Ko (golf), Ruahei Demant (rugby), Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snow sport – snowboarding).

Sportsman of the Year: Aaron Gate (cycling – track and road), Dylan Schmidt (gymnastics – trampoline), Nico Porteous (snow sport – freeskiing), Paul Coll (squash), Shane van Gisbergen (motorsport).

Team of the Year: Black Ferns (rugby), Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy (squash – women’s doubles), Joelle King and Paul Coll (squash – mixed doubles), Kerri Williams and Grace Prendergast (rowing – pair), New Zealand Eventing Team (equestrian).


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Coach of the Year: Craig Palmer (cycling – men’s track), Gordon Walker (sprint kayak), Sean Thompson (snow sport – snowboarding), Tommy Pyatt (snow sport – freeskiing), Wayne Smith (rugby).

Emerging Talent: Cameron Gray (swimming), Gustav Legnavsky (snowsport – freeski halfpipe), Jenna Hastings (cycling – downhill mountain bike), Joshua Willmer (swimming), Tara Vaughan (sprint kayak).


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