Reigning gsport Federation of the Year, Gymnastics South Africa, will go head to head with Cycling South Africa and GolfRSA for the 2021 Federation of the Year award at the 16th Momentum gsport Awards.

Public voting will be opening at gsport.co.za/voting and the federations are hopeful that the work and milestone they have recorded in the past year, converts to enough votes that will have them walk away with the top honours on 31August 2021.

This Federation of the Year category honours a sports federation that has in the past year maintained consistency and delivered results while supporting its athletes in their quest to succeed in their sporting code.

Since the introduction of this category at the Momentum gsport awards 10 years ago, federations like the South African Hockey Association, Netball South Africa, South African Rugby Union, Surfing South Africa, Wheelchair Tennis SA and the Women’s Professional Golfing Association of South Africa win this award.

After winning in 2013, GolfRSA said that winning the award went a long way in boosting gender parity in women’s golf in the country. During the Covid-19 enforced lockdown, GolfRSA led the from the front by safely re-opening their industry in the midst of a pandemic. Their brave move inspired other sporting codes to follow suit.

Approximately 40 000 industry experts and contributors where on the verge of losing their jobs and livelihoods and with more than 85% of the working class in the golfing industry falling within the most vulnerable societies in the country, the federation took matters into their own hands to ensure that no one goes under.

When asked what this nomination means for the federation, Golf RSA CEO Grant Hepburn said:  “We are very proud and humbled to be named a finalist in the Federation of the Year category and we are grateful to Momentum and gsport for this recognition.

“The last year has been testing for all sports federations in South Africa. The initial hard lockdown and subsequent stages of lockdown had a profound impact on the entire sports industry. Our immediate concern was the 40 000 plus people working at golf clubs, where 85% of these employees fall in the most vulnerable economic sector.

“Thanks to the collaboration between all the golf bodies, we were able to navigate an earlier return to golf than anticipated. A special thanks to our GolfRSA Compliance Team, spearheaded by our Compliance Officer Wimpie du Plessis and Womens Golf South Africa President Sarah Braude, on helping us to develop a comprehensive Risk Mitigation Strategy that has kept golf operating in a safe environment since June 2020.”

2020 federation of the year winners, Gymnastics South Africa gets yet another nod as a finalist for the 2021 Momentum gsport awards. The federation, who last month made waves at the Olympic games in Tokyo, remains one of the best performing federations in the country. In the past year Gymnastics SA broke records in high performance sections at the African Championships that secured historic Olympics spots for its gymnasts. For the first time, SA Gymnastics had two women artistic gymnast at the Olympics, with Caitlin Rooskrantz and Naveen Daries making history.

Gymnastics South Africa CEO Anne Vermaak could not hide her excitement about the federation being shortlisted this year: “ Wow I am so excited that gymnastics South Africa has been nominated for this category. It has been such a tough yet rewarding year for us. We have ran great initiatives while dealing with a global pandemic, we have done our best and placed measures and programs to ensure that our athletes are safe especially from the wreath of GBV and overall abuse.

“We had great representation at the Olympics! We ventured into schools with our rope skipping in a box and skip nation initiatives which was a great success. We could have not done any of these without the entire gymnastics, these results and successes belong to all of us, thank you to gsport for always ensuring that you consistently showcase brilliant women in sport across the globe”

Battling it out for top honours with Golf and Gymnastics in the Federation of the Year category is Cycling South Africa. Led and guided by their current president Ciska Du Plessis, the federation went on a transformation journey, which has resulted in increased opportunities for coaches, mechanics, managers, technical support and commissaires.

This transformation was achieved through sustainable programs meant to up skill every resource and skillsets contributing to the success of cycling in South Africa. What also stood out for Cycling South Africa were their visible and intentional campaigns that ensured diversity and representation in gender equality and race.

The federation had 11 members participating in four cycling categories at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last month. Ashley Moolman- Pasio, Carla Oberholzer, Candice Lill and Charlene Du Preez were part of the team and fled the flag high for women in cycling in Tokyo.

This is what Cycling South Africa President, Ciska Du Plessis-Austin had to say about the great news of being names a finalist for Federation of the year:

“CyclingSA is honoured and privileged to have been nominated for the 2021 Momentum gsport Awards. Traditionally, sports administration is under-represented by women, with not many Federations having appointed women into top leadership positions. For this reason, I am very proud to hold the position of President of CyclingSA. I am focused on driving representation of women and race equity at an executive level and throughout the sport.

“There have been several changes and successes that CyclingSA has achieved since my appointment as President in February 2020. Together with my team, we have overhauled the CyclingSA governance policies and we are now taking the next steps in sourcing partners for the new strategy and development plans and achieving our diversity and inclusivity goals set for 2024. On a personal note, I have recently been appointed as a member of SASCOC’s Policy Commission as well as the SASCOC Constitution Committee, and I look forward to ensuring that equal and fair representation continues to be a priority in all-sporting codes.”

Du Plessis added: “gsport continues to champion the cause in recognizing the performance, determination and leadership of female athletes, individuals, teams and organizations throughout South Africa. We applaud the work that Kass Naidoo and her team have done over the last 15 years and will continue to support in whichever way we can.”

Winners of the 16th Momentum gsport Awards will be unveiled on 31 August 2021.

Check out the latest women’s sport news in the Momentum-powered gsport newsroom and cast your vote for your leading #gsport16 candidate here.