Caroline Wostmann, who made history by becoming the fourth athlete ever to win the Two Oceans Marathon and the Comrades Marathon in the same year, has walked away with top honours at the 2015 SPAR gsport Awards, beating off stiff competition from Africa’s top Rhythmic Gymnast, Grace Legote, and the esteemed rowing pair of Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse to win the 2015 SPAR Athlete of the Year award.
The event on Friday night was a partnership between gsport and Sport and Recreation South Africa, and confirmed Sports and Recreation South Africa Minister Fikile Mbalula as the country’s biggest supporter of women in sport, as he bestowed Ministerial Recognition of Excellence Awards on running legend Zola Budd, former track and field star Geraldine Pillay, high-jump icon Hestrie Els (nee Cloete), Paralympics medallist Zanele Situ, and grassroots sports pioneer Faith Sibeko.
In another moment that the evening will be remembered for, Paralympic Icon, Natalie du Toit, was inducted into the gsport Hall of Fame, joining a long list of illustrious winners including International Swimming Icon, Penny Heyns, eighties netball phenomenon, Hazel Gumede, 1992 Olympic silver medallist, Elana Meyer, former Banyana Banyana captain, Desiree Ellis, community sports activist, Motlatsi Keikabile, Eastern Cape women’s rugby pioneer, Dorothy Tsotsobe, Comrades legend, Frith van der Merwe, and sports broadcasting pioneer, Tinky Pringle.
Ilse Hayes Carstens, the world’s fastest female Paralympian in 2015, was named Athlete of the Year with Disability ahead of South Africa’s number on wheelchair tennis star, KG Montjane and disabled sports allrounder, Rosabelle Riese.
In the Junior Athlete of the Year category, South Africa’s gold medallist of the 2014 Junior Olympic Games, Gezelle Magerman, beat off competition from rising canoeing star, Kayla de Beer and junior wheelchair tennis star, Nokwande Hlongwane.
In a further tribute to one of South Africa’s top athletes, hockey stalwart Marsha Cox was presented with a gsport Special Recognition Award for her tireless efforts in raising the profile of women’s hockey and representing South Africa with pride.
Co-recipients of a gsport Special Recognition Award included top sports administrator, Fran Hilton-Smith, broadcasting pioneer, Cynthia Tshaka, Nyapotse Inc and Monster Productions.
In the Woman of the Year category, the most difficult category for the judges went through two rounds of tie-breaks before Titans Cricket COO Patricia Kambarami emerged the surprise winner of the sought-after award, beating off stiff competition from Kaizer Chiefs’ Jessica Motaung and Orlando Pirates’ Thandi Merafe.
Other top awards presented on Friday night included four gsport Woman in Media Awards, with freelance camerawoman, Ronnie Tippett winning the TV category, EWN Sport Editor, Cindy Poluta winning the Radio category, City Press report, Reabetswe Mashigo winning the Social Media Award and Formula One fundi, Natalie le Clue winning the Print Award.
Rising netball coach, Mampho Tsotetsi won Coach of the Year, while Volunteer soccer coach, Londiwe Hlatswayo, won the gsport Volunteer of the Year Award.
The South African Rugby Union won the Sports Federation of the Year award for its efforts in growing women’s rugby in South Africa.
The Sponsor of the Year award was won by Nedbank Sport, for its loyal support of women’s sport over the years.
Leading Orlando Pirates fan, Mama Joy Chauke, won the inaugural Supporter of the Year award, presented to an individual who gets an individual or team across the line.
The cream of South Africa’s women’s sports community came out in support of the 2015 SPAR gsport Awards which was supported by leading brands, SPAR, Worldwide Sports, Big Five Duty Free and Estée Lauder.
For more information on the SPAR gsport Awards, follow @gsport4girls on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or check out gsport.co.za. The official event hashtag is #SPARgsportAwards.
2015 SPAR gsport Awards Winners:[table]
Volunteer of the Year, Londiwe Hlatswayo
Sports Federation of the Year, South African Rugby Union
Sponsor of the Year, Nedbank Sport
Supporter of the Year, Mama Joy Chauke
Style Star Award, Nomzamo Mbatha
Special Recognition Award, Fran Hilton-Smith
Special Recognition Award, Cynthia Tshaka
Special Recognition Award, Marsha Cox
Special Recognition Award, Nyapotse Attorneys
Special Recognition Award, Monster Productions
Woman in Media Award (Print), Natalie le Clue
Woman in Media Award (Social Media), Reabetswe Mashigo
Woman in Media Award (Radio), Cindy Poluta
Woman in Media Award (Television), Ronnie Tippett
Woman of the Year, Patricia Kamberami
Coach of the Year, Mampho Tsotetsi
Junior Athlete of the Year, Gezelle Magerman
Athlete with Disability, Ilse Hayes Carstens
SPAR gsport Athlete of the Year, Caroline Wostmann
Hall of Fame Award Inductee, Natalie du Toit
Winners Group Photo Caption: Winners at the 2015 SPAR gsport Awards included (from left) actress Nomzamo Mbatha winning the gsport Style Star Award; gsport Woman in Media Award (Print) recipient, Natalie le Clue; grassroots sports pioneer Faith Sibeko receiving a Ministerial Recognition of Excellence Award; gsport Athlete with Disability Award winner, Ilse Hayes Carstens; Reabetswe Mashigo taking the gsport Woman in Media (Social Media) Award; gsport Volunteer of the Year, Londiwe Hlatswayo; Minister of Sports and Recreation South Africa, Fikile Mbalula; 2015 gsport Junior Athlete of the Year, track star Gezelle Magerman; gsport’s 2015 Supporter of the Year recipient, ‘Mama Joy’ Chauke; women’s soccer stalwart Fran Hilton-Smith walking away with a gsport Special Recognition Award; Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba (obscured); Kershini Govender for Nedbank Sport receiving the gsport Sponsor of the Year Award; Mr Papi Nyapotse receiving a gsport Special Recognition Award for Nyapotse Inc Attorneys; former track and field star Geraldine Pillay receiving a Ministerial Recognition of Excellence Award (obscured); Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu; Mike Tippett (obscured) receiging the gsport Woman in Media Award (Television) Award on behalf of his daughter, Ronnie Tippett; gsport Founder, Kass Naidoo; 2015 gsport Woman in Media Award (Radio) Award recipient, Cindy Poluta; gsport Special Recognition Award winner, Cynthia Tshaka; and 2015 gsport Special Recognition Award, retiring hockey legend, Marsha Cox. Also honoured on the night were running legend Zola Budd, high-jump icon Hestrie Els (nee Cloete) and Paralympics medallist Zanele Situ, receiving Ministerial Recognition of Excellence Awards from Minister Fikile Mbalula, the SA Rugby Union walking away with the 2015 gsport Sports Federation of the Year, gsport Woman of the Year 2015 winner, Patricia Kamberami, gsport Coach of the Year Mampho Tsotetsi, the 2015 SPAR gsport Athlete of the Year recipient, Caroline Wostmann, and gsport Hall of Fame inductee, Natalie du Toit. The winners won their Awards at the 10th annual gsport Awards, held at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg, on Friday, 14 August, 2015. Photo: Rebecca Hearfield / gsport