All Blacks scoop Spain's top prize

Wed, 24 May 2017 14:03
Large all black haka in white 800

NEWS: The All Blacks were awarded Spain's top sports prize on Wednesday for being "an example of racial and cultural integration."

The team famed for performing the haka war dance derived from New Zealand's indigenous Maori and for fielding greats such as the late Jonah Lomu was given the Princess of Asturias Award for Sports.

"Having become an icon of the sport worldwide, the New Zealand team is also considered an example of racial and cultural integration, conveying values of unity, friendship, solidarity and sportsmanship," prize organisers said in a statement.

Speaking in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo where the organisers are based, jury president and former Spanish athlete Abel Anton said the All Blacks had racked up a "very high percentage of victories, which puts them among the most successful teams in any sport."

He added the team helped contribute to "the unity of New Zealanders of different origins, as symbolised by the haka."

Agence France-Presse