#PowerOfRecognition: Cato Louw

gsport Judge Cynthia Tshaka congratulates Cato Louw on winning the Woman in Radio Award at the 2022 Momentum gsport Awards, in Johannesburg, on 16 September, 2022. Photo: gsport

The 2023 Momentum gsport Awards is fast approaching and with the #PowerOfRecognition series in full swing, we continue to shine the light on former winners, so gsport writer Lonwabo Nkohla caught up with a very familiar face on the gsport stage: Cato Louw.

Louw epitomises the Power of Recognition, her career as a broadcaster has seen immense growth over the past years.

As winner of the 2021 and 2022 Woman in Radio award, as well as finalist in the SuperSport Woman in TV category at #gsport17, she has asserted herself as one of the prominent female faces in Radio as well as a Rugby anchor. You can hear Louw on EWN sport bulletins on KFM and Cape Talk.

The versatile and passionate broadcaster has also hailed gsport, the longest-running women’s sport recognition platform, as an impactful initiative.

Cato, great to chat to you! 2023 is The Year of Women’s Sport – what are your thoughts on the current spotlight on women in the game?

It’s just plain awesome and to quote Lizzo: ‘About damn time’! The fact that the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup dished up one of the most watched and historic tournaments already, just shows you that the world of women’s sport and the players associated with it are ready to step up into the spotlight and own it. The Proteas Women have been grafting for years and finally every single person could witness the quality in that team. They set us up beautifully for the coming tournaments with the SPAR Proteas and Banyana Banyana still in action in their respective World Cups. I really can’t wait to continue with this momentum!

What does #PowerOfRecognition mean to you?

For me it literally means, that someone is seeing me and the work I’m doing and that is powerful. People can go their entire careers and not be recognized and acknowledged, so giving that power through recognition means more than you know.

What was the best part of your Momentum gsport Awards experience?

The best part of the awards for me is always meeting the women you always hear about and chat to via email/social media. Physically having everyone in a room is powerful and significant. I get to hear the stories of my colleagues and connect with them over a stunning evening that we all get to be a part of because of the work we have done and just be able to reflect and re-connect. For the most part it feels that we, as women in sport, always have to fight to be get the stories out there, to be seen – so to have an evening where you just get to ‘bask in the glory’ is necessary and, as I said, powerful.

As a two time Woman in Radio winner at the Momentum gsport Awards – what does winning on the gsport stage mean to you?

We all work in sport, so from my competitive side it’s always lekker to win 😉 but besides that, it means a lot because as we know there is still a lot of work to be done to keep female voices growing in the industry and it’s still not the ‘norm’ to have a female sports anchor – so getting that recognition always fuels me and keeps the fire burning to keep amplifying not only my voice but that of women in sport.

What is your advice to someone who is perhaps struggling to value themselves and recognize their own achievements?

Look, it’s something I still struggle with at times. I think in any industry there will always be a bit of that, but my advice would be to physically write down what you have done. Seeing your achievements – no matter how big or small – gives you a little boost always. Day to day it might seem that you are not getting anywhere, but zooming out and seeing where you are compared to a year ago will always give you that feeling of achievement and even motivation to keep going.

What are your views on the impact of the work gsport does?

The impact is so positive and meaningful. It’s also very authentic, in the sense that it’s actual women doing the work to recognize other women. It’s not a front for anything or checking a box – it’s literally there to get the message and talent of women in sport out there. The impact is far more than an awards evening once a year.  It gives young women a goal to work towards, a place to express their love for sport without someone bashing them to say it’s not important enough and the result of all this combined is that women’s sport grows organically. It has a place in society, just like you.

As the media, how can we leverage a year like 2023 for women’s sport?

Just keep on talking about it and gather the viewership numbers/spectators/social media views etc during all these tournaments and then when anyone ever wants to say “people don’t watch women’s sport, it’s not worth it to invest” – you can show them the facts. In black and white. The language that sponsors speak, women’s sport can speak it fluently. We just need to keep with the momentum in other words.

What is your message to South African women’s teams due to play in World Cups this year?

I know it’s going to be tough and there is a lot of pressure to perform, BUT have fun. Embrace this moment. You’ve worked harder than anyone will know and it’s your time. You’ve done what you need to do for your sport and for women’s sport – enjoy it. Let the scoreboard do the talking 😉

What is your wish for women’s sport in general?

My biggest wish is that it’s just embraced and normalized so much that the fights happening behind the scenes for equal pay or even exposure is a thing of the past and all that ‘fight’ can be kept for on the field.  Exactly like when a guy plays rugby, there are no questions really it’s just normal. I want that for women’s sport. So, all the focus can be on getting the best out of the immense talent in South Africa and defeating the rest of the world on the sports field.

Photo Caption: gsport Judge Cynthia Tshaka congratulates Cato Louw on winning the Woman in Radio Award at the 2022 Momentum gsport Awards, in Johannesburg, on 16 September, 2022. Photo: gsport

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