Stellar night at the Halbergs

Author -  Karen Simpson

Stellar night at the Halbergs

Lisa and Gordy.jpg

Canoe Racing NZ toasted a stellar night at the 56th annual ISPA Handa Halberg Awards as Lisa Carrington collected the Sportswoman of the Year Award and her coach, Gordon Walker, the Coach of the Year prize.

On a night of immense pride for the sport, the duo both secured their respective prizes for the third successive occasion.

Unbeaten in the K1 200m for seven years, last year Lisa banked a sixth straight world title for the discipline to add to her two Olympic crowns.

The 29-year-old Ohope-raised athlete added further gloss to her year by also snaring further three World Championship silvers medals; in the K1 500m, K2 500m and K4 400m.

“It is fair to say an award like this is not the work of my own, but of many,” she said in an Instagram post. “I am grateful to have a crew of team-mates and support team that challenge and support me to grow and learn.

“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners last night at the Halberg Awards, but also a big cheers to an amazing year of sport in NZ.

“Also wicked to see my coach, Gordon Walker, receive Coach of the Year.”

Walker has masterminded a revolution in New Zealand kayaking thanks to his work with the women’s elite crew. Last year he led them to five medals (one gold and four silver) at the World Canoe Sprint Championships.

By winning the Coach of the Year he becomes the first coach in history to land the prize three years in a row.

In a further testament to the current status of canoe racing the sport boasted two other Halberg finalists on a glittering night of celebration at Auckland’s Spark Arena.

The women’s silver medal-winning K4 500m team of Lisa, Kayla Imrie, Caitlin Ryan and Aimee Fisher were in the mix for Team of the Year and Scott Martlew was a finalist in the Para Athlete/Team of the Year category after the Christchurch paddler enjoyed a breakthrough year, securing KL2 200m silver at the 2018 World Championships.
Stellar night at the Halbergs

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