ON AIR: The Country

12PM - 1PM

Martin Devlin: Halberg Awards a time for celebration, not debate

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 1:18PM

Martin Devlin: Halberg Awards a time for celebration, not debate

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 1:18PM

And the winner is....

The Halberg Awards are tonight, the annual glitz and glamour of New Zealand's most prestigious ceremony to acknowledge and honour our sporting finest.

And, like all years, I hope this one goes off without the rancour bitterness and endless debate about who should've won and why they didn't.

Because for me this should be a celebration occasion as opposed to an awards ceremony.

And before you cry "semantics" at me I really believe that language and wording IS important. Certainly important enough to make that distinction. Are these in fact awards or more acknowledgement of excellence and achievement?.

The celebration bit comes in when you consider how great every one of these finalists are within their own particular profession.

We have world champions across the board in sports as diverse as swimming to cycling, motor racing to mixed martial arts.

How you even begin to equate those apples with these oranges let alone determine that being a champion at X is worth more than winning at Y has to be the ultimate impossible ask for any judging panel.

For what it's worth I think netball will clean up tonight and deservedly so.

Perhaps not the Sportswoman category, which will be Lisa Carrington's even though I'd personally vote for Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, but certainly coach, team and Supreme will be Silver Ferns. And why? Because the dealbreaker, the point of difference has to be what the triumph means to and for New Zealand. 

Hard to quantify, yes, but at the same time easy to understand if you ask of yourself what did or does this achievement mean to us as Kiwis? What kind of patriotic passion and fervour did it engender? Not the most scientific way of deciding, sure, but tell me what is.

My point being that this is a night where we need do nothing but wow out at how incredibly diverse and brilliant our athletes are across the widest possible range of sports.

However you view the Halbergs, however you want to paint it, isn't it more important to simply celebrate it?

ON AIR: The Country

12PM - 1PM