The Halberg Foundation has today announced 30 finalists over six categories for the 60th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards.

The Awards judges – comprising former elite athletes and coaches, sports administrators, and current sports media – selected the finalists from 76 nominations received from National Sports Organisations and an independent Nominations Board for achievements in 2022.

The winners will be announced at the 60th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards ceremony at Spark Arena, Auckland on Wednesday 15 February 2023 and broadcast live on Sky Sport and free to air on Prime TV from 8:30pm.

The event will be both a significant milestone of achievement and one of reflection and remembrance as the first Awards ceremony since the passing of the man whose name adorns this occasion. The late Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ) re-established the Awards in 1963 to honour and celebrate sporting excellence, and most importantly, the occasion formed the major fundraiser for the Halberg Foundation. Sir Murray established the charity which aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled young New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation.

The finalists in the Para Athlete/Para Team, Sportswoman, Sportsman and Team categories will be eligible for the supreme Halberg Award, which is the country’s highest accolade for sporting excellence.

Five finalists have been shortlisted for the ISPS Handa Para Athlete/ Para Team of the Year including Para Alpine Ski Racers Corey Peters, who won gold and silver at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, and Adam Hall who also won two bronze medals; cyclist Nicole Murray was crowned a double world champion at the Track World Championships; Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dame Sophie Pascoe and fellow Para swimmer and S4 100m Freestyle World Champion Cameron Leslie are also finalists.

Five finalists are in line for the High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year award comprising Ellesse Andrews, who claimed three gold medals in track cycling at the Commonwealth Games; sprint kayaker Dame Lisa Carrington, who claimed two ICF World Championships titles and Black Ferns Ruahei Demant who co-captained the Black Ferns to success at the Rugby World Cup. Also included is golfer Lydia Ko, who had three wins on the LPGA Tour in 2022, and snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, who won New Zealand’s first Winter Olympic gold medal in Beijing.

The five finalists for the ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year award include squash player, Paul Coll who defended the British Open title and won the singles gold at the Commonwealth Games; Aaron Gate, who claimed four gold medals in track and road cycling at the Commonwealth Games; and winter Olympian Nico Porteous, won gold in the Freeski Halfpipe in Beijing. World Champion trampolinist Dylan Schmidt and Supercars Championship winner Shane van Gisbergen are also finalists.

The ISPS Handa Team of the Year finalists features five teams including Rugby World Cup winning Black Ferns; two Commonwealth gold medal winning squash teams – women’s doubles, Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy and mixed doubles duo, Joelle King and Paul Coll. Rowers Kerri Williams and Grace Prendergast were crowned world champions in the women’s pair, while the New Zealand Eventing Team won their first medal in 12 years with bronze at the world championships in Italy.

The Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year has five finalists comprising Craig Palmer who led the New Zealand men’s track endurance team to four gold and two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games; Women’s Sprint Kayak coach Gordon Walker and Rugby World Cup winning Black Ferns coach Wayne Smith. Snowsport coaches Tommy Pyatt and Sean Thompson round out the list for their respective wins at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Five young promising athletes are finalists for the Sky Sport Emerging Talent Award including swimmer Cameron Gray who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games; mountain biker Jenna Hastings, who won the Junior MTB Downhill World Championship title; freeski halfpipe Junior World Champion Gustav Legnavsky; kayaker Tara Vaughan won silver with the K4 500 crew in Poland and Para Swimmer Joshua Wilmer who broke the New Zealand breaststroke record while competing at the World Championships. 

The ISPS Handa Halberg Awards is New Zealand sport’s biggest night of the year, staged in a glittering black-tie ceremony at Spark Arena, Auckland on Wednesday 15 February 2023. Tickets are available now by contacting [email protected].

Full list of for the 60th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards

ISPS Handa 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).

High Performance Sport New Zealand 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).

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

ISPS Handa 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).

Buddle Findlay 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).

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


For more information please contact: 

Ian Hepenstall, Halberg Foundation, 027 561 3181, [email protected] 

Go to Search ‘ISPS Handa Halberg Awards’ on Facebook or HalbergFoundation on Instagram.