Halberg Awards

When I was at university, despite belonging to the debating club, I always thought it was a little bit strange that debating was considered a ‘sport’, and thus allowed to participate in the big national university sport competition, Easter Tournament.

I feel even more that way about driving a car. I’m certain 2008 Sportsman of the Year Scott Dixon possesses a immense amount of skills, knowledge and ability, and is one of the best, or possibly the best in his field of expertise.  But is driving a car really a sport? If we are going to celebrate mental agility, perserverence for going around in endless circles and conspicous consumption of limited resources, why not declare hedge fund trading a sport too?

Why does it matter.  Well, there’s public funding at stake, as MotorSport New Zealand president Steven Kennedy is well aware:

“It is a first for the sport in this country and recognition for the first time that motor racing is indeed a true sport. It has been discounted as a sport by various funding bodies over the years when we have sought support for outstanding performers.”

Now it’s up to SPARC to decide how to fund it’s sportsman of the year.


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