Today, Halberg has announced 30 finalists across six categories for the 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards.

This year’s finalists, voted by a panel of former elite athletes and coaches, sports administrators, and sports media came from 76 nominations received from National Sports Organisations and an independent Nominations Board for achievements in 2023.

The winners will be unveiled during the prestigious ceremony at Spark Arena, Auckland on Wednesday 14 February 2024. During the evening Sport New Zealand’s Leadership Award and New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment will also be crowned. The Awards will be broadcast live on Sky Sport and free-to-air on Sky Open from 8pm.

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

The High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year award features five exceptional finalists, including last year’s Supreme winner Zoi Sadowski-Synott, who defended her X Games Slopestyle Gold Medal at the 2023 Aspen Winter X Games. Among the finalists are athletes like Dame Lisa Carrington and cyclist Ellesse Andrews, who claimed the UCI Track Championships League sprint title following a world title win in the women’s keirin earlier in the year. Also included is swimmer Erika Fairweather, who made history by becoming just the fifth woman in history to break 4 minutes in the Women’s 400m Freestyle and Courtney Duncan wraps up the list for her fourth Women’s Motocross World Championship title win.

The five finalists for the ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year award include golfer Ryan Fox, who claimed his fourth victory on the DP World Tour after winning the BMW PGA Championship; Aaron Gate, who claimed Gold in the Men’s points race at the UCI Track World Championships; and squash player Paul Coll who won the US Open. All Black and World Rugby Player of the Year Ardie Savea and Shane van Gisbergen are also finalists for their achievements over the year.

Five finalists have been shortlisted for the ISPS Handa Para Athlete/Para Team of the Year including, double New Zealand representative Cameron Leslie for his performances in the pool and with the Wheelblacks. Two Para cyclists Nicole Murray and Anna Taylor find themselves in the finalist list for both taking out their respective Omnium titles at the UCI Cycling World Track Championships. World Champion F37 Shotputter Lisa Adams achieved gold at the World Para Athletics Championships while Danielle Aitchison had her best season yet – achieving Gold, in the T36 200m and Silver in the 100m T36 at the World Para Athletics Championships.

The ISPS Handa Team of the Year finalists features five teams including the All Blacks and Women’s K4 500m World Champions; the Black Fern Sevens and All Black Sevens for winning their respective HSBC Sevens World Series Titles. Wrapping up the list is the One New Zealand Warriors, who completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in sport, coming within one win of making the 2023 National Rugby League grand final just 12 months after the worst season in their history.

The Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year category has five finalists comprising of Women’s sprint kayak coach Gordon Walker and Black Fern’s Sevens coach Cory Sweeney. Snow sports Sean Thompson and swimming’s Lars Humer also make the list. All Blacks Coach Ian Foster rounds out the list for coaching his team to the runners-up spot at the Rugby World Cup final.

The Sky Sport Emerging Talent Award highlights five young promising athletes, including kayaker Tara Vaughan; snowboarder Lucia Georgalli who was crowned the 2023 FIS Park and Pipe World Champion and Julian David who won the Junior Male speed climbing gold medal at the IFSC World Championships in South Korea. Footballer Milly Clegg joins the finalists for her successful year at three world championships and Erice Van Leuven who was crowned Junior Women’s Downhill Mountain Bike World Champion.

Since its establishment in 1963 by the late Sir Murray Halberg ONZ, the ISPS Handa Halberg Awards have been a beacon of recognition for New Zealand athletic feats. More than just a celebration, these Awards serve as the main 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.

The 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards will unfold in a black-tie ceremony at Spark Arena, Auckland on Wednesday 14 February 2024. Secure your place at this prestigious event by visiting or reaching out to [email protected]

Full list of Finalists for the 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards:

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

Courtney Duncan (motocross), Ellesse Andrews (cycling-track), Erika Fairweather (swimming), Dame Lisa Carrington (canoe racing), Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snow sports)

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

Aaron Gate (cycling-track), Ardie Savea (rugby-union), Paul Coll (squash), Ryan Fox (golf), Shane van Gisbergen (motorsport)

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

Anna Taylor (Para cycling), Cameron Leslie (Para swimming and wheelchair rugby), Danielle Aitchison (Para athletics), Lisa Adams (Para athletics), Nicole Murray (Para cycling)

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), New Zealand Warriors (rugby-league), Women’s K4 500m (canoe racing)

Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year

Cory Sweeney (rugby-sevens), Gordon Walker (canoe racing), Ian Foster (rugby-union), Lars Humer (swimming), Sean Thompson (snow sports)

Sky Sport Emerging Talent

Erice Van Leuven (cycling-mountain bike), Julian David (climbing), Lucia Georgalli (snow sports), Milly Clegg (football), Tara Vaughan (canoe racing)