The gsport Awards is an event every woman in sport needs to attend at least once. It is a night filled with female stars from the sports and media industry in South Africa. A night loaded with Glitz and Glamour in a way that you would not normally experience at any other event. Every guest (ordinary or VIP) is made to feel special.
I was a GUEST at the #gsport12 event in 2017. Okay to be honest I barrelled my way for an invite, lol. I was NOT PREPARED to take NO for an answer as I lived far, in KZN. When I look back, it was the best decision of my life. That night was a turning point on how I really viewed my career and what I wanted out of it. Kass had told me that night “Enjoy the night. Take in the experience of being around these women and one day you too will be standing up there on stage”. Those words stayed with me.
For too long we have had this notion that we should settle for a life less than what we deserve. Well I was not going go sit back and settle, I knew what I wanted and where am I going. I put on my knee guards, my elbow guard, my helmet, my gloves and got ready to bat, not just for me but for every female in sport.
I worked every day from then on, juggling a corporate career and my sports career. It was so hard, I promise you, there were days I wanted to cry and give up because I was either tired or I was hitting road blocks. Those days are the toughest but you need to remind yourself why you started. What fuels your soul, what makes you get up every morning. Is the crying and fatigue worth it? YES it is! Always remember, the hardest climb has the best view.
My hard work reaped rewards in 2019 when I became Momentum gsport Brand SA Supporter of the Year finalist for championing woman’s sport and more especially my beloved KZN Ladies team. I went up against Anet Bosman and previous winner Shannon Landman-Kriel. I did not win and that was okay. I always told myself that winning isn’t everything, it is the legacy of what we do with passion that leaves the biggest impact. I still remember when I did not win that night, I was seated between Dinesha Devnarain (2019 Coach of the Year Finalist) and my guest for the evening Hodren Naidoo, their looks of disappointment made me laugh, I was consoling them instead of them consoling me, lol.
I took mental notes from conversations that I had with other finalists and winners that night and of course, Kass Naidoo. I was more determined to get out there & put woman’s sport and my fellow colleagues out in the open for all to see. Being named Hollywoodbets KZN Cricket Ladies Manager in August 2019, made part of my goal possible. I was able to blog about the CSA Women’s Provincial League, which was hardly ever heard of on social media, unless someone hit a landmark during a game. I was also able to engage with other amazing women administrators and manageress’s from other franchise teams.
My journey has been tough in the past year, plus COVID19 happened and put a spanner in the works. But one thing for sure it did not stop me from doing what I wanted in sport. Reap what you sow they say, well I was nominated in two Categories this year, Volunteer of the Year and Supporter of the Year. I was like “okay I will probably get finalist for Supporter of the Year again”, lol. Come 1st August and the 60 finalists were released, I cried, yes I CRIED!
I cried because I saw my name pop up twice and that for me was so special and unexpected. The public were given 10 days to vote and I was up against some amazing women in both my categories. We received our gsport Finalist Certificate and I immediately accepted that was I did not win anything, although I will concede that I was disappointed in some ways but I was more grateful that I was a double category finalist and that my work was appreciated. But that was a smoke screen for what was to come. I was totally bowled over when I was called by the gsport Trust and told I needed to pack my bags I was going on a secret mission.
A secret mission that had all the trimmings filled with glitz and glamour reserved for Stars, a night that will stay with me forever. I was treated like royalty within safe and secure Covid19 protocols. I was dressed by Just Tonight Josephine and everyone who knows me, knows I never get “dolled “up, so to speak. I went from my skinny jeans and top look, to a girl on a magazine cover. A Belle (Disney Princess) transformation moment for me, lol. I had my hair & makeup done before I was whisked off to our secret venue. My oh my, when I say I was bowled over I mean it in every sense of the phrase. Kass Naidoo and her band of elves OUT DID themselves this year. We were the women of the moment, gsport and its partners ensured that we had the best of the best. We were there to boldly claim our success and we were going to do it in a big way.
Being named the 2020 Brand SA Supporter of the Year Recipient is such an honour for me. I always believe that what we put in is what we get out. It needs to be sincere. Women’s sport is very close to me and ensuring that we put women on the map is very important. We have so much to do in terms of getting people to talk about and support women’s sport.
Winning this award is not just for me, but for every little girl and woman. This has been my dream: to one day make a mark that counts and I believed I could do it. I am going to believe in this dream for you too. I was a guest in 2017, a finalist in 2019 and a double category finalist & winner in one category in 2020. I believe in yourself, never let someone tell you that you can not do it because you can. Stand tall and proud, write your own story. You are amazing, you are beautiful, you are strong, OWN YOUR SUCCESS.
It is okay to be female and want to succeed. You can have it all ladies. Never apologize for wanting more out of life and wanting to follow your dreams and passions.
To my fellow finalists, being a finalist is an achievement and you should be so proud of that. Your story does not end here, your story is just beginning, so do not give up. Wake up every day, set goals, sail uncharted waters and shatter barriers. We need to support and stand by each other as formidable women sport.
Photo 1 Caption: 2020 Momentum gsport Awards Brand SA Supporter of the Year winner, Selina Munsamy, pictured at the awards ceremony on Monday, 31 August 2020. Photo: gsport