Story: Sport and the nation

Sports award winners

This table shows the winners of what was originally the New Zealand Sportsman of the Year Awards, became the Halberg Sportsman of the Year Awards in 1980, and was renamed the Halberg Supreme Awards in 1992. The awards provide an indication of the sportsperson or team that captured the attention of the New Zealand public in that year.

The increasing recognition of women's achievement is notable. In the first decade women won the award on three occasions, with Yvette Williams winning twice. In the 1960s and 1970s women never received the award. It was won by women three times in the 1980s, four times in the 1990s, and six times in the 2000s (Valerie Adams on three occasions) – but only three times in the 2010s.

While rugby and cricket (the two major men's sports) took the award five times in the first 20 years, they won it on only two occasions (the All Blacks in 2011 and 2015) in the 30 years after 1992.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Sport and the nation - Strong men and women, 1945 to 1970', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 March 2023)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 Sep 2013