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World Champions & Halberg Winners to Feature

Media Release

World Champions & Halberg Winners to Feature at 2008 Celebrity Sporting Functions

Auckland, 30 July 2008: World champions Valerie Vili and Mahe Drysdale headline an outstanding line-up of keynote speakers confirmed for this year’s Westpac Halberg Celebrity Sporting Functions.

Vili, the current women’s world shot put champion and Drysdale, three-time men’s single scull world rowing champion, are lined up to speak on five occasions later this year.

Each year the Halberg Trust organises a series of these events around the country and Trust Chief Executive, Graeme Taylor, is delighted that the two most recent winners of the Halberg Award, widely regarded as New Zealand’s premier sporting trophy, are among a large group of Beijing-bound Olympians the Trust has secured as guest speakers.

Other members of the 2008 games team, who will provide a first-hand view of their Olympic experience, include rowers Rob Waddell, Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell and NZ Olympic team Chef-de-Mission, Dave Currie.

Mr Taylor says the Trust “has made a big effort in recent years to bring the best of this country’s sporting talent to the people through our Westpac Halberg Celebrity Sporting Functions. This year is no exception and in some cases our Olympians will be speaking within weeks of returning home from Beijing.”

To kick-start the Celebrity Sporting Functions, the Halberg Trust is next month bringing together the 1978 New Zealand cricket team that scored this country’s first cricket Test win over England 30 years ago. In a repeat of the highly-successful reunion of the 1987 Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks last year, the 1978 cricket team, featuring captain Mark Burgess and another nine members of the team, including John Wright, Ewen Chatfield, Richard Collinge and manager Frank Cameron, will be at Sky City, Auckland, on Friday August 22.

The Halberg Trust is planning a total of 11 Westpac Celebrity Sporting Functions around the country, starting with Sky City on August 22 and finishing in Christchurch on December 5. Other centres hosting Celebrity Sporting Functions include Napier (September 5), New Plymouth (October 9), Nelson (October 15), Dunedin (October 22), Invercargill (October 23), Queenstown (October 24), Hamilton (November 12), Wellington (November 14), Tauranga (November 28) and Christchurch (December 5).

Tickets for the Auckland luncheon are available by contacting the Halberg Trust at or on 579 9931.

All funds raised at the events will support the work of the Halberg Trust in linking young people with a disability to sport and active leisure.


© Scoop Media

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