Halberg Awards: Black Ferns headline full list of nominations for 60th edition

Black Ferns celebrate their World Cup victory.
Black Ferns celebrate their World Cup victory. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Halberg Foundation has released a full list of nominations for the 60th Halberg Awards, scheduled for February 2023.

An independent nominations board comprised of "respected individuals from the sporting sector" has put forward 76 nominations for six categories across a range of 30 sports.

At the forefront of the nominees are the Black Ferns, who will be the odds-on favourite for team of the year, after defending the World Cup on home soil this year. Wayne Smith is up for coach of the year, while star players Ruahei Demant and Theresa Fitzpatrick will contend for sportswoman of the year.

Snow sports are also front and centre, with snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and freeksier Nico Porteous nominated for sportswoman and sportsman of the year for their historic gold medals at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Nico Porteous and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott with their Winter Olympics gold medals.
Nico Porteous and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott with their Winter Olympics gold medals. Photo credit: Getty Images

Cyclist Aaron Gate leads the nominees from the recordbreaking NZ Commonwealth Games team, in the running fort sportman of the year after bringing home three gold medals from Birmingham.

The awards will take on added significance in light of founder Sir Murray Halberg's death earlier this month.

"This is a particularly poignant occasion as we remember and celebrate the remarkable life of Sir Murray, but at the same time we continue to be driven by his vision for the Halberg Foundation," said Halberg Foundation chief executive Tom Smith.

Nominations for each category will be whittled down further before the awards take place at Auckland's Spark Arena on February 15.

Cyclist Aaron Gate after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham.
Cyclist Aaron Gate after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham. Photo credit: Getty Images

Full list of nominations: 

Sportsman of the Year: Aaron Gate (cycling – track), Ajaz Patel (cricket), Ardie Savea (rugby), Brendon Hartley (motorsport), Dylan Schmidt (gymnastics – trampoline), Fergus Jenkins (mixed martial arts), Hamish Kerr (athletics - high jump), Hayden Wilde (triathlon), James McDonald (horse racing), Jamie Reid (golf), Joey Manu (rugby league), Jordan Parry (rowing), Lewis Clareburt (swimming), Marko Stamenic (football), Nico Porteous (freeskiing), Paul Coll (squash), Ryan Fox (golf), Sam Gaze (cycling – mountain bike), Shane van Gisbergen (motorsport), Steve Alker (golf), Tim Price (equestrian), Tom Walsh (athletics – shot put)

Para Athlete/Para team of the Year: Adam Hall (Para skiing), Anna Taylor (Para cycling), Cameron Leslie (Para swimming), Corey Peters (Para skiing), Devon Briggs (Para cycling), Eltje Malzbender (Para cycling), Holly Robinson (Para athletics – javelin), Lisa Adams (athletics), Nicole Murray (Para cycling), Rachel Maia (Para sport climbing), Scott Martlew (Para sprint kayak), Dame Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming), Wheel Blacks (Wheelchair rugby).

High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year: Bronwyn Dibb (gymnastics - mini trampoline), Bryony Botha (cycling - track), Ellesse Andrews (cycling - track), Emma Twigg (rowing), Jess Hotter (skiing - freeride), Joelle King (squash), Jonelle Price (equestrian), Dame Lisa Carrington (sprint kayak), Lydia Ko (golf), Niamh Fisher-Black (cycling - road), Portia Woodman (rugby), Raecene McGregor (rugby league), Ruahei Demant (rugby), Tayla Bruce (lawn bowls), Theresa Fitzpatrick (rugby), Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (skiing - snowboard).

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), Matthew Walker, Edward Masters and Charles Murray (cycling - mountain bike enduro team), New Zealand Eventing Team (equestrian).

Coach of the Year: Ben Adams (Para skiing), Craig Palmer (cycling - men’s endurance track), Gary Hollywood (swimming), Gordon Walking (sprint kayak), Matt Toa (mixed martial arts), Mike Rodger (rowing), Sean Thompson (Skiing - snowboarding), Thomas Onley (Para swimming), Tommy Pyatt (Skiing - freeskiing), Wayne Smith (rugby).

Emerging Talent: Ben Westenberg (Para cycling), Cameron Gray (swimming), Gustav Legnavsky (skiing – freeski halfpipe), Jenna Hastings (cycling - downhill mountain bike), Jocelyn Hong (figure skating), Joshua Willmer (swimming), Ruby Andrews (skiing - freeskiing), Tepenisa Havea (athletics - shot/discus), Tara Vaughan (sprint kayak).