gsport Editor Kass Naidoo had the honour of appearing as guest speaker at the 2007 Sports Person of the Year Awards, held by the Wanderers Club in Illovo on Saturday evening, and applauded the efforts of the overall Sports Person of the Year Award winner Barbara Nell, and Junior Category winner, the talented tennis player Chane’ Hines.
Naidoo was delighted to see that women athletes emerged winners in two of the three age-group categories celebrated by one of the oldest sports clubs in the country: "The recognition of women in sport is the key aim of gsport," said Naidoo, "And these two candidates demonstrate the depth in talent among our country’s proud female athletes."
Winning one of the three titles, seventeen-year old Hines took the Junior title ahead of Prakash Vijayanath (who excelled in Badminton), while Nell pipped Oscar Marino (who was runner-up for his achievements in Masters level tennis) for the overall award.
Hines won one single and seven doubles titles during the past year, and was runner-up in another three events, while she finished in the last four in three further events, and her name crops up time and again in a search of gsport’s tennis reports,
In accepting her trophy, international walking champion Barbara Nell was quick to acknowledge the valued input of her support team, and in her modest acceptance speech, spoke of an athlete’s race against themselves as the most critical aspect of competing.
Nell finished first in six regional walking events (including 5km or 10km events), first in a further three national walking events (between 5km and 20km) and second in another, and recorded three firsts and two seconds in a further five World Masters events in Riccione, Italy, to emerge a deserving winner.