This year has been incredibly successful for Kiwis in motorsport; however, they will have to wait until 2021 if they are to have a crack at being honoured at the New Zealand Halberg Awards with this year’s celebration canned.
The annual event will be replaced by a ceremony in February to honour the nation’s top sporting feats over the last decade.
It means three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin, Bathurst 1000 winner Shane van Gisbergen, Jaguar I-Pace champion Simon Evans, Le Mans 24 Hour winner Brendon Hartley and two-time women’s Motocross World Championship Courtney Duncan will all miss out on having their 2020 achievements celebrated on the national scale this year.
Scott Dixon, who claimed a record sixth IndyCar Series title this year – the second most of all time – was also likely contender for the New Zealand Sportsperson of the Year award.
However, the Halberg Foundation announced yesterday that due to the global pandemic, the 2020 sporting year has been written off.
“With international sporting events being severely affected in 2020, the Halberg Foundation has decided it will include performances of merit this year into the 2021 sporting year,” a statement read.
The 2020 Halberg awards will celebrate sporting achievement across the last decade (2010-2019) and previous winners of each award will all vie for decade champion honours.
Fortunately for Dixon, it means he is still eligible for a decade award given he was the recipient of Sportsman of the Year in 2013.
But for McLaughlin, van Gisbergen and Co, they will now have to hope the judges have long memories with their accomplishments this year going up against the 2021 cohort which will feature athletes from the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Recipients of the last ten Supreme Awards will be eligible to be the join the Supreme Decade Champions list.
Formula 1 world champion Denny Hulme (1967) and six-time motorcycle speedway champion Ivan Mauger (1977 & ’79) are the only two winners of the Supreme Award to have come from the motorsport discipline.
The public will get to vote for New Zealand’s favourite sporting moment of the last decade.