2014 KZN Sportswoman of the Year, Bridgitte Hartley, is a double nominee for the 2014 SPAR gsport Awards.
Hartley, who won bronze in the World Canoe Sprint Championships, is up against Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and national netball captain Maryka Holtzhausen for the SPAR gsport Athlete of the Year.
gsport Founder Kass Naidoo said: “The SPAR gsport Athlete of the Year category attracted more than 60 nominations, and the battle for the top three was tough. It is now up to the judges to choose the winner from three noteworthy candidates.”
With SPAR Proteas netball player Zanele Mdodana, Hartley has the distinction of becoming the joint-first athlete selected as a gsport Awards Style Star finalist, 2011 gsport Style Star winner Shashi Naidoo completing the trio.
“The winner in the gsport Style Star of the Year category is now to be decided by public voting at the gsport website from Sunday, 9 November to Monday, 17 November, which will also decide winners in the Volunteer of the Year and Social Media Star categories.”
The Volunteer of the Year category is headlined by three champions in disabled sport, nominees including Tracy Dearden, a sports volunteer for the past 14 years, tireless Mthatha wheelchair tennis campaigner Kweshy Dubula, and Dea Slattery, international official and coach to talented swimmer Adri Visser for the past eight years.
Social Media Star of the Year will see crusader for women’s sport on social media, Ntando Stemmet battle it out with @BBallMagSA founder, Lungi Mchunu, and the national women’s football team, SASOL Banyana Banyana.
In Athlete of the Year with Disability category, veteran Paralympic athlete Zanele Situ is nominated alongside champion paracyclist, Justine Asher and multiple medal-winning swimmer, Bongekile Sebaka.
In the Up and Coming Athlete of the Year category, world junior number one wheelchair tennis player, Mariska Venter, is nominated with Tuks and SPAR Proteas netball star Lenize Potgieter and swimming sensation Marlies Ross.
St. Stithians U12 netball coach Keneiloe Kgasi is up against Mangaung netball coach Burta de Kock and Momentum Proteas national women’s coach Hilton Moreeng, for gsport Coach of the Year.
In the Woman of the Year category, Founder of the Discovery Sports Heroes Walk, Cynthia Tshaka is nominated alongside President of Netball South Africa, Mimi Mthethwa and player turned football administrator, Pearl Mosoane.
While the three athlete categories counted together make up more than half of the total nominations received, the Woman in Media category was the next most popular – boasting more than 20 deserving journalists up for consideration.
In a highly-contested battle, SABC Sport Presenter Romy Titus, Daily Sun reporter Busisiwe Mokwena and Phalaphala FM sports commentator, Thinandavha Ramantswana came through as the top three nominees for this sought-after award.
The gsport judging panel is made up of veteran sports journalist, Jane Bramley, world leader in visual performance, Dr. Sherylle Calder and 2007 gsport Hall of Fame winner, Hazel Gumede. They have been tasked with choosing the overall winner in the categories, Athlete of the Year, Athlete of the Year with Disability, Up and Coming Athlete of the Year, Woman in Media, Coach of the Year and Woman of the Year.
SPAR Group Marketing Executive, Mike Prentice said: “It is exciting to see new names in women’s sport coming to the fore and being recognised at the SPAR gsport Awards. It is important that these Awards continue to unearth role models and icons that young girls can look up to.”
Finalists in the 2014 SPAR gsport Awards: Athlete of the Year (Judges Voting): Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio Bridgitte Hartley Maryka Holtzhausen Athlete with Disability (Judges Voting): Bongekile Sebaka Justine Asher Zanele Situ Up and Coming Athlete (Judges Voting): Lenize Potgieter Mariska Venter Marlies Ross Coach of the Year (Judges Voting): Burta de Kock Hilton Moreeng Keneiloe Kgasi Woman of the Year (Judges Voting): Cynthia Tshaka Mimi Mthethwa Pearl Mosoane Women in Media (Judges Voting): Busisiwe Mokwena Romy Titus Thinandavha Ramantswana Volunteer of the Year (Public Voting): Dea Slattery Kweshy Dubula Tracy Dearden Style Star (Public Voting): Bridgitte Hartley Shashi Naidoo Zanele Mdodana Social Media Star (Public Voting): Banyana Banyana Lungi Mchunu Ntando Stemmet