Halberg Awards: Netball reigns supreme as Silver Ferns score top honours

Netball took the spotlight at the Halberg Awards, with the world champions cleaning up at Auckland's Spark Arena.

The Silver Ferns scored the evening's top prize, netting the Supreme Award, after their Team of the Year nod.

Their one-goal win over Australia at the World Cup final also won the Sports Moment of the Year award, voted by the public. 

Dame Noeline Taurua scooped Coach of the Year, as well as the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award. 

Former coach and player Yvonne Willering was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement nod. 

"Hopefully, people aren't getting sick of us, to be honest!" Taurua said at the end of the night. "Walking up and down is hugely humbling. 

"The Supreme Award is something that I think, when we look back at our journey and the Commonwealth Games a couple of years ago, and we think now where we are currently standing, that we would never have thought we would be here.

"Not only to lead in our own sport, but also to be amongst great other people who are also leaders in their sport as well."

Lisa Carrington won an impressive fourth straight Sportswoman of the Year, while mixed martial arts star Israel Adesanya won Sportsman of the Year. 

The UFC middleweight champion stole the show with an impassioned speech, calling for Kiwis to end the 'tall poppy' culture.

"This isn't really for me," he said. "This is for the young generation coming up, who get to see someone they can relate to - someone of my essence, if you will - that they can see a combat athlete... is up there with the likes of the All Blacks, the Blackcaps, the Tall Blacks.

"If you see one of us shining - pump them up, embrace them!" he said to great applause.

"If they win, we win. If I win, you win... understand that.

"This black Kiwi's gonna fly all day."

Para Athlete/Team of the Year went to Sophie Pascoe, who won four gold medals at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. 

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