Carrington reigns Supreme at 61st Halberg Awards

Dame Lisa Carrington won the prestigious Supreme Halberg Award, the highest honour of the evening, for the third time at the 61st Halberg Awards on Wednesday, the biggest and glitziest night in New Zealand sport.

Carrington received the award in front of a packed Spark Arena in Auckland, after she was named the Sportswomen of the Year earlier in the evening, the 6th time she has received this trophy.

Winners of the Sportswomen of the year, Sportsman of the year, team of the year and Para-athlete of the year were all considered for the Supreme Award. Lisa has previously won the Supreme award in 2016 and 2021, following her achievements at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Lisa was up against some tough competition in the sportswomen of the year category, with fellow finalists Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (Snowsports), Ellesse Andrews (cycling), Courtney Duncan (Motorsport) and Erika Fairweather (Swimming).

She acknowledged “all the wāhine toa” in her category in her acceptance speech, as well as her family, her K4 teammates and longtime coach Gordon Walker..

Walker was also recognised as the Buddle Finlay Coach of the Year. Walker had previously won this award in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021.

Photo: David Rowland /

These awards recognise and celebrate another astonishing year from Dame Lisa in 2023, where she added three world championship titles to her collection, bringing her total to 15 world championship gold medals.

At the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Germany, Lisa won gold in the K1 200m and K1 500m events, as well as the K4 500m race with her teammates Alicia Hoskin, Tara Vaughan and Olivia Brett.

This K4 win was history making in many ways, predominantly that it was the first K4 World Championship win for any NZ K4 crew, male or female. It was also the first time a non-european crew had won the event. The womens K4 crew were finalists in the Team of the Year award, which was won by the Black Ferns Sevens, and NZ’s Favourite Sporting Moment, which was claimed by the Warriors.

Tara Vaughan was also a finalist in the Emerging Talent award, the 2nd consecutive year she has been a finalist.

Canoe Racing NZ would like to congratulate Lisa, Gordy and all the CRNZ athletes, coaches, staff and support team, families and supporters for their contributions to the success achieved in the past year. Congratulations also to all the other sports organisations, award winners, finalists and nominees for another incredible year of sport for Aotearoa, as we continue to perform well above our weight on the international sporting stage.

Thanks to the Halberg Foundation for hosting the Halberg awards and all the sponsors who make it possible.  The work the Halberg Foundation do  outside of these awards to ensure that young people with disabilities are able to participate and find joy and belonging in sport is inspirational and life-changing.