Success starts at secondary school level.
A group of current and recent (2017,2018) school elite athletes and sportspeople have been chosen as nominees for the 2019 Halberg Awards.
Winter Olympic medallists Zoe Sadowski-Synnott and and Nico Porteous have been nominated in the Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year categories respectively, after their efforts at Pyeongchang.
The historic feat of the Football Ferns U17 side, earning a semi-final berth at the U17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay, has been recognised with a Team of the Year nod. Coach Leon Birnie is also in for the running for Coach of the Year.
White Ferns cricketer Amelia Kerr is among the nominees for Emerging Talent of the year, with swimmer Lewis Clareburt, U17 Football Ferns goalkeeper Anna Leat and shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche, who won gold at the Under 20 IAAF World Championships.
The winners will be announced at the awards dinner in Auckland on February 21.
Four of the individual nominees and the Football Ferns U17s featured on College Sport Media in 2018. Their achievements were:
Ameilia Kerr (Tawa College). In June the year 13 Tawa College leg-spinning all-rounder set a new world batting record in women's one-day cricket with her unbeaten 232 against Ireland, the third highest score in ODI cricket history. Facing 145 balls and hitting 31 fours, and two sixes. She then took 5-17 with the ball as Ireland were bowled out for 135, chasing 441 to win. At 17 years and 243 days, Kerr became the youngest double-centurion in the format across genders. Now a regular member of the Wellington Blaze and White Ferns teams, she went on to play an international tri-series against England South Africa and then against Australia, and this month is playing in the Twenty20 Women’s World Cup.
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (Mount Aspiring College) In February Zoi Sadowski-Synnott became New Zealand’s first Olympic Winter Games medallist in 26 years, and only second winter medallist in history after Annelise Coburger who won silver in the women's slalom at the 1992 Winter Olympics. The Wanaka sixteen year claimed a bronze medal in the women’s snowboard Big Air at PyeongChang 2018. Prior to winning bronze, she finished 13th in the women’s snowboard slopestyle. She was subsequently selected as New Zealand's flag bearer for the 2018 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, becoming the country’s youngest-ever flag bearer. Returning home, she won the Supreme Award at the Otago Sports Awards and later Snowboarder of the Year at the Snow Sports NZ awards.
Anna Leat (Rangitoto College) - The goalkeeper who debuted for the Football Ferns in 2017 showed again she belongs on the world stage with a memorable display at the FIFA U17 World Championships. After keeping a clean sheet to help New Zealand to victory over Finland in pool play, Leat then saved two penalties and kicked the winning penalty in the dramatic win over Japan in the quarter-finals. Leat is a member of the New Zealand high performance set up.
Nico Porteous (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu( - The New Zealand skier at 16 years and 91 days old became New Zealand's youngest ever Olympic medalist when he became the first male to claim a Winter Olympics medal winning a bronze medal in the halfpipe in PyeongChang in February. Porteous started with an 82.50 before stunning everyone - nobody more than himself - with an incredible 94.80 on his second run. Porteous was briefly in a gold medal position, but was overtaken by two Americans. In September Porteous reinforced his quality by winning the FIS Junior Freeski Halfpipe World Championships at his home mountain of Cardrona Alpine Resort. Again after a modest first run, Porteous came through with a winning run when it most counted. Porteous was named Snow Sport New Zealand Freeskier of the Year.
Read more about the achievements of the Football Ferns U17s at the two links below:
Halberg Award Emerging Talent - past winners:
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand