South Africa’s golden girl Lara van Niekerk is having a year to remember as she secured triple honours, winning the Momentum Athlete of the Year, Sasol Global Woman in Sport and a Minister’s award at the 2022 Momentum gsport Awards at Wanderers Club on Wednesday, 14 September.
Van Niekerk was honoured for her stellar performances on the global stage, which saw her win double gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The 19-year-old star beamed as she collected her honours in front of a large gathering as the 17th edition of Africa’s longest running recognition platform celebrated new icons and roles models on the awards stage.
In the coveted Telkom Woman of the Year category, Spar Proteas captain Bongi Msomi beat off stiff competition from Banyana Banyana’s top shot-stopper, Andile Dlamini and endurance racer, Ingrid Avidon, to walk away with the crown.
Msomi has been lauded for her positive impact in disadvantaged communities through her Bongi Msomi Legacy Project.
Owning her success and bowing out in true style after announcing her retirement as a professional athlete, para-athlete Anruné Weyers bagged the Brand SA Para Sport Star of the Year gong.
Weyers won Team South Africa’s first medal at the Tokyo Paralympics – a gold medal, that is, in the women’s 400m T47 category.
Akhona Makalima bagged her sophomore Momentum gsport Award, this time around in the Imperial African Woman in Sport category. Makalima walked away with the #gsport16 Estée Lauder Style Star award in 2021.
Maphuti Hlako, who was part of the team of Press Attachés that delivered outstanding PR results at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games, as well as the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, saw earn the Woman in PR and Sponsorship award.
In the hotly contested media categories, Mpumi Manyisi was crowned the 2022 Mail & Guardian Woman in Print winner, while Nono Xaba walked away with the SuperSport Woman in TV accolade.
For the second year running, sports anchor Cato Louw defends her Woman in Radio Award.
Popularly known as “Aunty Diski” on Social Media, Jessica Nkomo is fast seeing returns for using her influence on the various platforms to rally behind women in sport. She was awarded the Woman in Social Media award.
She’s not only loved as Banyana Banayana football legend, or even as a well of information as an analyst at SuperSport TV, but also her unrivalled style. Amanda Dlamini is the 2022 Style Star!
The captain of the Hoërskool Menlopark High School Girls Team, Lesedi Khunou, claimed gold in the Girls U/19 discus victory at the Super School Series. She’s earned herself another golden accolade at the glitzy ceremony, winning the SuperSport School Sports Star of the Year.
Phiwokuhle Mnguni is recipient of the Emerging athlete of the Year award, this after clinching bronze for South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022, becoming the first South African female boxer to reach the podium at the Games.
The Nielsen Sports SA Sponsor of the year category shines the light on commercial sponsors who have exceeded their competitors in supporting women’s sport. Hollywoodbets walked away with the honours. This partner always finds ways to inspire women and the girl child to reach their potential, either through the sponsorship of the Hollywoodbets Super League or Netball SA, to name a few.
Former runner turned administrator Dorah Mngwevu was awarded the Special Recognition award with Shamila Sulayman, the first female president of the Collegians RFC, receiving the Volunteer of the Year award and fervent supporter of women’s football Nakedi Thlathla bagging the Supporter of the Year award.
Following a historic feat for her and the team she led to the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations glory, Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis earned the Coach of the Year award, while national women’s football team deservedly hoisted the Team of the Year title.
Another Banyana Banyana star who also grabbed honours on the night was Hildah Magaia, for her brace in the final of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and undoubtedly taking the Public Choice award.
The Federation of the Year is the South Africa Sports Association for the Physically Disabled, a federation that soldiers on despite seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Hall of Fame inductee for 2022 is Marian Marescia – a hockey coach and former player, who many describe as the best player never to have played for South Africa. This of course was due to apartheid. She’s also mother to former Hockey SA captain, Marsha Cox.
Completing the awards are the five Ministerial Recognition of Excellence recipients Phiwokuhle “Ben 10” Mnguni, 20-year-old gymnast and South Africa’s first woman artistic gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, Caitlin Rooskrantz.
Michaela Whitebooi, the first female judoka to reach the Commonwealth Games podium for gold, Lara van Niekerk for her sensational swimming results in 2022 and another history-maker, Ashleigh Buhai, who won her first major title by winning the AIG Women’s Open were also honoured by the Minister.
2022 Momentum gsport Awards Winners:
Momentum Athlete of the Year – Lara van Niekerk
Telkom Woman of the Year – Bongiwe Msomi
SASOL Global Woman in Sport – Lara van Niekerk
Imperial African Woman in Sport – Akhona Makalima
SuperSport Woman in TV – Nono Xaba
Brand SA Para Sport Star of the Year – Anruné Weyers
SuperSport School Sport Star of the Year – Lesedi Khunou
Mail & Guardian Woman in Print – Mpumi Manyisi
Nielsen Sports South Africa Sponsor of the Year – Hollywoodbets
Emerging Athlete of the Year – Phiwokuhle Mnguni
Woman in PR and Sponsorship – Maphuti Hlako
Woman in Radio – Cato Louw
Woman in Social Media – Jessica Nkomo
Special Recognition – Dorah Vuyelwa Mngwevu
Supporter of the Year – Nakedi Thlathla
Volunteer of the Year – Shamila Sulayman
Style Star – Amanda Dlamini
Federation of the Year – SASAPD
Coach of the Year – Desiree Ellis
Team of the Year – Banyana Banyana
Public Choice Award – Hildah Magaia
2022 Hall of Fame Inductee:
1st Ministerial Award Recipients:
– Phiwokuhle Mnguni
– Caitlin Rooskrantz
– Michaela Whitebooi
– Lara van Niekerk
– Ashleigh Buhai
Photo 1 caption: The 2022 Momentum gsport Award winners gather on stage at the conclusion of the annual South African women in sport awards at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg, on Wednesday 14 September, 2022. Photo: gsport/ Meghan McCable