While Wednesday’s Halberg Awards will honour the very best in New Zealand sport across the last 12 months, it will also be a night to reflect on the man whose name is behind them.
The ceremony will be the first since Sir Murray Halberg passed away in November last year.
For almost six decades the Halberg Awards have been a staple of the New Zealand sporting calendar.
And it’s set to be a night of celebration and remembrance for an icon of New Zealand sport.
“It’s time to remember him, for all that he did for disabled children,” said Dave MacCalman of the Halberg Foundation.
“Also what he represented, the good in humanity.”
Ill health may have kept Sir Murray away in recent years, but he’s witnessed everyone from Dame Lisa Carrington to Dame Sophie Pascoe, and the All Blacks grace the stage.
Crucially, all while raising money for the Halberg foundation.
“That was his vision,” said family friend Paul Allison. “To ensure sporting achievement could get recognised while still raising money to help people with disabilities achieve and participate in sport.
“The celebration will continue because this is the legacy he’s left.
“It’s something he’s got his fingerprints all over.”
The night will begin with a tribute to Sir Murray, with a video looking back on his life and his achievements
Although those who know him best are sure he’d prefer not to be the centre of attention.
“He was always wondering if ‘Halberg’ was the right name for the awards, the right name for the foundation,” continued MacCalman.
“He was always very humble about that.”
Time has proven him right. The Halberg name is now synonymous with sporting excellence.
But despite Sir Murray’s absence, it will be a night to remember one of sport’s great champions, and everything he and the Halberg Foundation did for sport in New Zealand.
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