Women’s Month got off to a sparkling start in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning, when a host of top women in sport, business, and media gathered at the Westcliff Hotel for the 2007 gsport Awards, hosted by popular online women’s sports initiative, gsport … for Girls!

Women's World Cup of Golf co-founder Lesley Copeman won the inaugural gsport Woman of the Year Award. Photo: gsportThe Awards recognised the contributions made by women in sport, and also paid tribute to women across South Africa who serve as role models.

The big moment of the morning came when netball icon, Hazel Gumede, was inducted into the gsport Hall of Fame. gsport Editor Kass Naidoo named Gumede an inspiration to all women who contribute to women’s sport.

“Women’s sport is richer because of people like Hazel. Choosing her was an honour in itself,” said Naidoo.

Women’s World Cup of Golf co-founder Lesley Copeman won the inaugural gsport Woman of the Year Award.

Gumede, who was prevented from representing South Africa during her days because of apartheid, has continued to serve the sport she loves, working with young talent to promote netball in South Africa.

In the initiative’s Leading Ladies Awards, South Africa’s top women’s golf coach and co-founder of the Women’s World Cup of Golf, Lesley Copeman, walked off with the Woman of the Year Awards after dominated Internet voting at the gsport website.

Lauded as a fashion icon in South Africa, co-owner of top fashion label Sun Goddess Vanya Mangaliso received the 2007 Style Star of the Year Award. Photo: gsportWidely regarded as a pioneer in women’s sports broadcasting, SABC Sport Executive Producer Melinda Lombard, who headed the national broadcaster’s Cricket World Cup coverage earlier this year, was named Woman in Media.

Lauded as a fashion icon in South Africa, co-owner of top fashion label Sun Goddess Vanya Mangaliso received the 2007 Style Star of the Year Award, after making a dramatic entrance in one of her signature garments.

Banyana Banyana captain Portia Modise, who could not attend the Awards due to club commitments in Denmark, beat off stiff competition from recently turned Pro golfer Ashleigh Simon and national women’s hockey captain Marsha Marescia, to win the 2007 gSTAR of the Year award.

The gsport initiative was launched in August 2006 by cricket commentator Kass Naidoo, to raise the profile of women in sport and showcase outstanding South African women.

“Today’s occasion was made even more special thanks to the support of Clinique, Cell C, and Nike,” said Naidoo, giving acknowledgment to the generous support of gifting sponsors.

In Johannesburg especially for the Awards, Ilse Langhout received the 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award, in recognition of her selfless assistance to gsport. Photo: gsportgsport Editor Kass Naidoo also called up a surprised Ilse Langhout, who had flown up from Cape Town to attend the gsport Awards, to receive the website’s 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award, in recognition of Langhout’s selfless assistance to gsport.

“Thanks for giving us a platform to spread the news of women’s sport in South Africa,” a delighted Langhout told gsport, “And may it only go from strength to strength!”

Other winners of raffle prizes included national Hockey captain Marsha Marescia, who won a stunning hamper from Clinique, 2007 Hall of Famer Hazel Gumede’s partner Themba Miti, who won a hamper of sports gear from Nike, and Tinky Pringle, who won a hatbox filled with delicious Belgian chocolate!

 

The 2007 gsport Award Winners

  • Hazel Gumede – 2007 gsport Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Portia Modise – 2007 gsport Athlete of the Year
  • Lesley Copeman – 2007 gsport Woman of the Year
  • Melinda Lombard – 2007 gsport Woman in Media
  • Vanya Mangaliso – 2007 gsport Style Star Award
  • Ilse Langhout – 2007 gsport Volunteer of the Year

 

Photo 1 caption: The big moment of the 2007 gsport Awards came when ‘80s netball icon Hazel Gumede was inducted into the gsport Hall of Fame. Photo: gsport

Photo 2 caption: Women’s World Cup of Golf co-founder Lesley Copeman won the inaugural gsport Woman of the Year Award. Photo: gsport

Photo 3 caption: Lauded as a fashion icon in South Africa, co-owner of top fashion label Sun Goddess Vanya Mangaliso received the 2007 Style Star of the Year Award. Photo: gsport

Photo 4 caption: In Johannesburg especially for the Awards, Ilse Langhout received the 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award, in recognition of her selfless assistance to gsport. Photo: gsport