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Swimmers among huge competition for New Zealand’s top sports honours

Nominations for swimming Commonwealth Games gold medalists Lauren Boyle and Sophie Pascoe were among 80 official nominations received for the 52nd Halberg Awards - a jump from 58 in 2013.

The Awards, organised by the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, will honour the achievements of New Zealand athletes during the 2014 calendar year with swimming among the 26 sports represented in the nominations.

Boyle has been nominated for High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year which will be hotly contested by 2013 Halberg Supreme Award winner Lydia Ko and fellow finalists, Lisa Carrington and Valerie Adams. They are joined by eight other athletes nominated including cyclist Linda Villumsen and rower Emma Twigg.

Boyle has enjoyed plenty of success in the pool this year winning gold and silver at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, two silvers and a bronze at the Pan Pacific Championships and a setting a new short course world record in the 1500m freestyle.

Para-Swimmers have dominated nominations for the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson of the Year with three time winner Pascoe, Mary Fisher, Nikita Howarth, and Rebecca Dubber all up for the award. A disabled bowls team, three Para-Cyclists, a Para-Shooter and a Para-Skier are also up for the vote.

Pascoe was a double gold medalist in Glasgow where she was joined by Howarth. Howarth was also part of the successful Pan Pacific Para-Swimming team, along with Fisher and Dubber, which brought home nine gold medals, six of them going to Fisher.

Swimmers are also in the mix for the Emerging Talent Award with backstroker Corey Main and Para-Swimmer Jesse Reynolds among the nominees for this category.

Para-Swimming coach Roly Chrichton receives recognition for his efforts over the last year with a nomination for the SKY Sport Coach of the Year.

A Voting Academy of 28 former athletes, coaches and media representatives will now vote to determine the finalists which are announced on 3 January, 2015. Outstanding performances by individual athletes or teams are still considered until 31 December, 2014.

Award winners will be announced at the 52nd Halberg Awards at Vector Arena, Auckland, on Wednesday 11 February, 2015. The event will also be televised live on SKY SPORT.

For more information and the full list of nominees click here.