New Zealand’s biggest stars of the sports world stepped out of their athletic gear and into their best frocks and suits for the 50th Westpac Halberg Awards last week. The atmosphere at Vector Arena was buzzing and the wine flowed as guests such as Prime Minister John Key and Piri Weepu arrived.
The big winners on the night were Olympic gold medal-winning rowers Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, who swapped their oars for awe when they took out the supreme Halberg Award, as well as the New Zealand Team of the Year Award.
The pair brought their partners Jackie Murray and Lizzie Travis. After the Olympic controversy where Belarus player Nadzeya Ostapchuk was forced to surrender her gold medal, Valerie Adams was able to shine on the night, taking out the New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year award – although she seemed stoked just to be there, taking snaps on her own little camera.
Valerie (28) took her boyfriend Jeremy to the awards, who she says is “a nice guy. He’s a typical Kiwi bloke, an oyster farmer and also does a bit of wrestling.”
Olympic gold medal winner Lisa Carrington was a finalist in the same category, but although she missed out on the award, she had winning style in a bright and beautiful custom-designed Tanya Carlson dress.
“I’m nervous about tonight, but am happy to be here,” Lisa said before the ceremony.
New Zealand’s sporting golden couple, former All Black great and New Zealand cricket player Jeff Wilson and his wife, former Silver Ferns captain Adine, were the best dressed couple on the night.