Eastern Cape women’s rugby pioneer, Dorothy Tsotsobe has been honoured for her selfless contribution to the development of the women’s game in South Africa. She was unveiled as the 2011 gsport Hall of Fame inductee at the 6th Annual gsport Awards, at the prestigious Wanderers Club on Monday.
Tsotsobe joins a star-studded list of women in the gsport Hall of Fame, including swimming icon, Penny Heyns, marathon queen, Elana Meyer, eighties netball phenomenon, Hazel Gumede, former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Ellis, and newly elected vice president of Athletics South Africa (ASA), Motlatsi Keikabile.
Ten years ago, Tsotsobe gathered a group of enthusiastic women, and started women’s rugby in her community of Kwamagxaki. The women’s game quickly spread to other communities, and today, women’s rugby in the province is thriving.
Tsotsobe’s work is reflected in the fact that the Eastern Province (EP) won the provincial league title two years ago and has become an unofficial feeder to the national team, with a host of current national players coming from EP.
The Tsotsobe family is known across the Eastern Cape for their passionate contribution to sport. Tsotsobe’s late husband, Toto, excelled in rugby, and Dorothy is the mother of former Springbok women’s rugby captain, Nomsebenzi, and Proteas fast bowler, Lonwabo.
Tsotsobe was the first woman ever to serve on the South African Rugby Union (SARU) Presidents Council, under the leadership of Brian van Rooyen in 2004, and is currently the only woman serving on the Eastern Province Rugby Executive. She is also the Eastern Province women’s rugby coordinator.
On receiving her cut crystal award from 2010 gsport Hall of Fame recipient, Motlatsi Keikabile, Tsotsobe said: “It is an honour and a privilege to receive this award. I would like to thank people of South Africa for the interest and belief they have shown in what we do as sport loving women of South Africa. It is something I will treasure for the rest of my life,” said Tsotsobe.
The cream of South African women’s sport gathered for the 6th Annual gsport Awards, an event held annually to laud the valuable contributions of individuals dedicated to the promotion of women’s sport in South Africa.
Leading international goal scorer and national hockey star, Pietie Coetzee, was named the 2011 gStar of the Year. This award recognises an athlete who stands out because of her achievements, both on and off the field. Coetzee brought an extended hockey career to a remarkable apex in the 2010/2011 season, when she became the player with the most number of test goals to her name, eclipsing the previous world record of 220. Having come back to the game after an earlier retirement, Coetzee has demonstrated that her place in history is well-deserved.
Deputy editor of Kick Off Magazine, Melissa Reddy, won the 2011 gsport Woman in Media award. This award recognises a woman who has made her mark in the male-dominated field of sports media. Reddy has risen through the ranks with astonishing pace, both as an on-air football analyst for SuperSport, and in her position as deputy editor of Kick Off Magazine, Africa’s biggest soccer site.
World leader in visual performance, Dr. Sherylle Calder, walked away with the 2011 gsport Woman of the Year award, which recognises a South African woman active in the sports arena. With her ground-breaking development in the field of visual performance skills, the internationally-recognised Dr. Calder has enabled individuals at home and around the world to dramatically improve their effectiveness in sport, business, academia and in life, generally.
FHM Sexiest Woman of the Year, Shashi Naidoo, was named the 2011 gsport Style Star of the Year. The Style Star of the Year award is presented to a woman whose style exudes confidence, passion and self belief. After years studying medicine, Naidoo broke onto the public stage with appearances in multiple television platforms, before she consolidated her status among the trend-setters at her talent management agency, Alushi.
Long time women’s sport sponsor, SPAR, won the inaugural gsport Sponsor of the Year award, which acknowledges outstanding commitment to women’s sport by Corporate South Africa.
Surfing South Africa won the inaugural Sports Federation of the Year award, which shows appreciation for the increased effort being made by sporting bodies to raise the profile of women’s sport.
Masalang Mshayisa won the gsport Volunteer of the Year award, for her concerted efforts to promote athletics among the youth. Mshayisa, a national coach with Athletics South Africa, is also Chairperson of Central Gauteng Women’s Athletics, she also runs a Non Governmental Organisation called Nurturing Orphans of AIDS for Humanity (NOAH), which encourages sports participation among the orphans its cares for.
gsport editor and founder, Kass Naidoo, said: “Congratulations to all the winners. gsport enjoys unearthing role models, and for the past six years, we have had the opportunity to celebrate some amazing winners at the gsport. Our aim is to raise the profile of women’s sport significantly to convince Corporate South Africa to back our female athletes. An event like this helps showcase the best of women’s sport in South Africa.
“gsport would like to thank its awards sponsors HRG Rennies Travel and Big Five Duty Free for making today possible,” said Naidoo.
gsport’s esteemed panel of judges included 2008 gsport Hall of Fame recipient, Hazel Gumede, Sports media veteran, Jane Bramley and Diamond Face Couture Owner, Uyanda Mbuli. They, along with a gsport representative, were tasked with choosing the four Leading Ladies of the Year.
Follow all the gsport Awards action on gsport.co.za, facebook.com/gsport4girls and twitter.com/gsport4girls.
The gsport… for Girls! Honours Roll:
2011 gsport Awards:
Dorothy Tsotsobe (2011 gsport Hall of Fame Inductee), Dr Sherylle Calder (2011 gsport Woman of the Year), Melissa Reddy (2011 gsport Woman in Media), Shashi Naidoo (2011 gsport Style Star), Pietie Coetzee (2011 gStar Award), Surfing South Africa (2011 Sports Federation of the Year), SPAR (2011 Sponsor of the Year), and Masalang Moshaisa (2011 gsport Volunteer of the Year).
2010 gsport Awards:
Motlatsi Keikabile (2010 gsport Hall of Fame Inductee), Sandy Flanagan (2010 gsport Woman of the Year), Natalie le Clue (2010 gsport Woman in Media), Bonang Matheba (2010 gsport Style Star), Rosy Hodge (2010 gStar Award), Fabienne Lanz (2010 Personal Account Writer of the Year), and 1GOAL.com (2010 gsport Volunteer of the Year).
2009 gsport Awards:
Desiree Ellis (2009 gsport Hall of Fame Inductee), Mbali Zantsi (2009 gsport Woman of the Year), Beverley Maphangwa (2009 gsport Woman in Media), Uyanda Mbuli (2009 gsport Style Star), Noni Tenge (2009 gStar Award), Clare Vale (2009 Personal Account Writer of the Year), and Lunga Ntuli (2009 gsport Volunteer of the Year).
2008 gsport Awards:
Elana Meyer (2008 gsport Hall of Fame inductee), Beaulah Schoeman (2008 gsport Woman of the Year), Renelle Naidoo (2008 gsport Woman in Media), Tanya van Graan (2008 gsport Style Star), Tarryn Chudleigh (2008 gStar Award), Mpho Makhoba (2008 Personal Account Writer of the Year), and Bronwyn Chudleigh (2008 gsport Volunteer of the Year).
2007 gsport Awards:
Hazel Gumede (2007 gsport Hall of Fame inductee), Lesley Copeman (2007 gsport Woman of the Year), Melinda Lombard (2007 gsport Woman in Media), Vanya Mangaliso (2007 gsport Style Star), Portia Modise (2007 gStar Award), and Ilse Langhout (2007 gsport Volunteer of the Year).
The inaugural gsport Awards:
Penny Heyns (2006 gsport Hall of Fame inductee)