The 2015 Gauteng Sports Awards, which took place at the Silverstar Casino on the West Rand on Sunday, 11 October, were an exciting success story for the Gauteng Sports Confederation.
An initiative of the Gauteng Sport, Art, Culture and Recreation Department, this year’s theme was: “Gauteng, the Enabler of Excellence” and the evening lived up to all expectations.
The Gauteng Sports Confederation (GSC) played a major part in the success of the evening, bearing in mind that preparations began in September to manage the nominations and adjudicate the selection process. The adjudicators included Moekie Grobbelaar representing the City of Tshwane and the SA Sport Association for the Physical Disabled; Karabo Simenya representing the City of Joburg; Shadrack Nthangeni, Director of Sport at the University of Pretoria; Matthews Mpete, Sports Editor at the Daily Sun; and Yaseen Lombard, Gauteng Sport Confederation general secretary.
The purpose of the Gauteng Sports Awards is to honour athletes, coaches, administrators and officials and this year the event was presented by Robert Marawa and Carol Tshabalala from Supersport. There was much fun to be had, with performances by Uhuru, Kuli Chana and Micasa, with Skhumba entertaining the guests during intervals, and celebrities Khanyi Mbau, Pearl Thusi and Tholi B present.
Barry Hendricks, GSC president, said the awards had grown in status over the past five years and were proving increasingly popular. “Being so heavily involved at the coal face of sport in the province, we know the immense time and sacrifice that men and women make to ensure that sports programmes take place in all communities. We are very proud to recognise their outstanding achievements through the Gauteng Sports Awards,” he said.
“The gala evening was all we could have expected and was made doubly important by the presence of the premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, and Gauteng MEC for sport, Molebatsi Bopape.”
The University of Johannesburg’s top athletes with disabilities made a strong showing at the awards. UJ rowing club manager Carol Blignaut said her rowers were pleased and surprised to have won again this year. “The team deserves all their accolades because of their relentless commitment to rowing, which is not an easy sport.” Blignaut was also nominated for the Administrator of the Year Award.
Athletics was the code which topped the boards in 2015: both Sportswoman of the Year and Sportsman of the Year were athletes, Caroline Wostman from the Nedbank running club (winner of the 2015 Ladies Comrades marathon) and Akani Simbine, a sprinter from TUKS, respectively. Rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“This year the nominations exceeded our expectations and the awards show that we are blessed to have such wonderful sports administrators, participants and structures across the province. We know we are on the right path in the development of sport at all levels,” said GSC general secretary Yaseen Lombard.
Below is a list of winners in their categories:
Technical Official of the Year: Charmaine Ho – Archery – Gauteng Provincial Archery Confederation
Disabled Sport man of the Year: Andrea Dalle Ave – Athletics – Central Gauteng Sport Association
Disabled Sport woman of the year: Kgothatso Montjane – Wheelchair Tennis – Wheelchair Tennis
Sport fan of the year: Click, Click Bang!!!
Most Promising Athlete of the Year: Emma Wentzel – Gauteng Karate Federation
Sport Programme of the Year (Determined by SMS): Sport @10 – SABC
Sport woman of the year: Caroline Wostman – Athletics – Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
Sports man of the year: Akani Simbine – Athletics – TUKS Sport
Lifetime Achievement: Joost van der Westhuizen – Rugby
Sport Personality of the Year: Janine van Wyk – Football – South African Football Association
Most Promising Team: Troyeville Primary Team Boys 13 Years Old – Volleyball – Gauteng Schools Sport and Gauteng Volleyball Union
Administrator of the Year – Nick George Bester – Athletics – Road Running, Cross Country and Track
Sport Journalist of the Year: Mahreen Chenia – ANN7
Disabled Sports Team: The Mixed Leg, Trunk & Arms Coxed Four – Para Rowing – University of Johannesburg Rowing
Coach of the Year: Pierre de Bruyn – Cricket – Assupol Tuks Cricket