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Halberg’s Unsung Heroes

Halberg’s Unsung Heroes

The New Zealand netball team have dominated the Halberg Awards winning four out of five of their nominations following their World Championship win in Jamaica last year, and are the first to acknowledge the unsung heroes in their accolades.

After winning sportswoman (Irene van Dyk), coach (Ruth Aitken), and team of the year, as well as the much coveted supreme award, the Silver Ferns attributed much of their success on the international court and at the Halberg Awards to the years of training, on-going support, and playing facilities throughout the country.

Chief Executive of the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) Brendon Ward agrees, and wants those in the background to be recognised too.

“The Silver Ferns, the Sevens Rugby team, and the Black Caps all started as kids playing sport at their local community facility - without these facilities it is almost impossible to achieve excellence these days.”

“The Halberg Awards celebrate the achievement of New Zealand’s best teams and individuals. But for every finalist, every elite sportsperson in New Zealand, there is an industry supporting their success that also deserves praise and recognition,” says Mr Ward.

NZRA is the professional organisation for the recreation industry and Mr Ward believes it is essential that the people who work within the sector are provided with leadership and resources to support.

A professional and well resourced recreation and sport sector is what has helped almost all of New Zealand’s successful athletes over the last 100 years. The NZRA is looking forward to assisting with the creation of champions in greater numbers in the future.

“These facilities are all available for New Zealanders to enjoy from a recreational level right through to elite sports programmes,” adds Mr Ward.

The recreation industry covers recreation centres, swimming pools, sports fields, parks, walking tracks and other sporting and recreation environments.

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