Dlamini, Wolvaardt and van Niekerk Contend for Top Honours in Momentum Athlete of the Year Category

Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper, Andile Dlamini, previously pictured in a training session. Photo: Andile Dlamini (Instagram)

A category that features the greatest superstars, playing at the highest level in women’s sport, is the Momentum Athlete of the Year category.

With voting now open at gsport.co.za/voting and the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards fast approaching, Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, Proteas Women opening batter Laura Wolvaardt and sensational swimmer Lara van Niekerk will all battle it out for glory in this fiery category. 

One of South Africa’s greatest ambassadors of women’s football Dlamini was resplendent at the Women’s African Cup of Nations in 2022. Her heroics saw Banyana Banyana win their maiden African title. Dlamini is elated to be named a finalist once again, “It means the world to me, this is not mine but everyone that believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and to all the little young girls and boys that give me a reason to fight to make it in life.”

The Sundowns Ladies shot stopper hopes to inspire future ‘Andile Dlamini’s’: “We are all here in this world to make a difference and I want my story to inspire the next generation. It doesn’t matter where you come from you can reach greater heights to inspire the next generation not to give up on anything no matter what situation it comes with. Be brave and take risks to get to the top. Taking risks is being fearless and working hard for what they want!”

South Africa’s swimming golden girl and #gsport17 triple winner Lara van Niekerk is consistently producing record-breaking and gold medal winning performances. As a result she returns to the gsport stage after winning the Momentum Athlete of the Year, Sasol Global Woman in Sport and a Minister’s award at the 2022 awards. Back for another bite of silverware, she’s excited to give it another go.

“I really feel honoured to be able to be a finalist on the gsport stage again this year. Last year was just an amazing year being there, seeing the success of the women and I’m really honoured to be able to be a part of that again. I really hope that everyone just enjoys the time and I can’t wait.”

Van Niekerk has already has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics, she won gold at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and her star just keeps shining. 

“I owe my success to being very dedicated and hardworking. I’m always striving to be better than the previous swim I’ve done and also being in the sport with my coach. I also owe a lot of my success to him. I would not have been in the place I am today without him. My parents behind me, family and friends. I think all my success is because of the great support system I have and just the dedication of going to the pool every single day,” van Niekerk added. 

Proteas Women leading batter Laura Wolvaardt has had a 2023 for the books. On home soil at the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup, becoming a leading run scorer. That didn’t stop there, she repeated the same feat at The Hundred.

“I’m so honoured to be nominated in the category of Momentum Athlete of the year. I think if you just look at the athletes who’ve won it in the past it’s such a prestigious category and to be thought of alongside my fellow nominees is incredible. I’m super honoured and very thankful for the nomination.”

There’s double glory for Dlamini, she’s also a finalist in the Telkom of the Year category. Last year, she missed out on this award won by Spar Proteas captain Bongi Msomi. Coming back for the second time Andile speaks about the impact of winning any or both of these awards. 

“Winning these awards would mean the world to me. Why? When I win, I win with so many people, the people I take care of, the generation that looks up to me and I will inspire any football lover that it’s possible. These are the biggest awards for women and who wouldn’t want to be a part of the winning journey with gsport I believe that when I win a lot of souls will be inspired  in SA and the African continent  and beyond cause I am for the people,” she says. 

Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper, Andile Dlamini, previously pictured in a training session. Photo: Andile Dlamini (Instagram)

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