Pascoe calls for scrapping of disabled award

17:18, Feb 13 2014
Halbergs gallery
Jonah Lomu and Nadene Quirk on the red carpet.
Halbergs gallery
Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson and partner Phoebe Carr on the red carpet.
Halbergs gallery
World and Olympic champion shot putter Valerie Adams on the red carpet.
Halbergs gallery
Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns on the red carpet.
Halbergs gallery
Olympic kayaking champion Lisa Carrington on the red carpet.
Gabriella Fa'amausili gallery
Emerging Talent Award winner swimmer Gabriella Fa'amausili.
Richie McCaw gallery
Richie McCaw with the leadership award.
Nathan Cohen
Olympic gold medalist rower Nathan Cohen arrives at the Halberg Awards with his partner.
Sophie Pascoe
Sophie Pascoe speaks to the media after winning the disabled athlete award at the Halbergs.
Jonah Lomu and Sarah Ulmer
New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame inductees Jonah Lomu and Sarah Ulmer.
New Zealand Black Sox
Members of the world champion Black Sox softball side pose after claiming the New Zealand sports moment of the year.
All Blacks
All Blacks Keven Mealamu, Kieran Read, coach Steve Hansen, Richie McCaw and Ryan Crotty with the team of the year trophy.
Lauren Boyle
Swimmer Lauren Boyle arrives on the red carpet with her partner.

The Halberg Trust is coming under increasing pressure to revamp their annual New Zealand sports awards with swimmer Sophie Pascoe calling for disabled athletes to be integrated into the main sportsman and sportswoman of the year categories.

A year ago, Paralympic swimmer Cameron Leslie revealed some disabled athletes referred to the category as "the Token Gimp Award", and now Pascoe, the poster-girl for disabled sport in New Zealand has spoken out too.

"I'd like to obviously see this award go back into the sportsman and sportswoman categories," Pascoe said.

"At this stage it's not going to happen overnight, but it will happen from us disabled athletes proving what we can do.

Pascoe, who has won the disabled award at the Halberg's for the last three years, said she was proud to be the figurehead for disabled sport in New Zealand.

"I'm a proud New Zealander and I represent Paralympics New Zealand. I love what I do and I do it because I love it. The passion is unbelievable in every race I do.

"I have the ambition to change things outside the pool too."

Pascoe said to change the Halberg structure, she expects it won't be happening soon.

Sophie Pascoe
CHANGE NEEDED: Sophie Pascoe has called for the scrapping of the Halberg Award for disabled athletes.

"It's going to take time and it's going to take a lot of support," she said.

"But, it will happen."


Fairfax Media