Two-time gsport Athlete of the Year, Caster Semenya is up against fellow Rio Olympic medallist, Sunette Viljoen, and one of the world’s best netballers, Karla Mostert, for the 2017 gsport Athlete of the Year award.
gsport’s Elite Panel of Judges considered and scored all nominees to compile a merit-based list of 3 Finalists per Awards category, and now it is over to the public – the fifth judge – to cast their votes at gsport.co.za until 7 August, to decide the overall 2017 gsport Awards winners.
Voting is open until 7 August to decide the Public Vote, which acts as the fifth judge in the process. The public vote is combined with the votes of the four-member gsport judging panel, to decide the overall winners. Votes can be cast at gsport.co.za/voting.
Winners will be announced at the 2017 gsport Awards on 26 August 2017 in Johannesburg.
Semenya leads a formidable list of 51 finalists for the 12th edition of SA’s longest running national women’s sport awards, which is endorsed for the third year running by Sport and Recreation South Africa.
The Athlete with Disability category will be contested by SA’s number one wheelchair tennis star, Kgothatso Montjane, 5000m T11 world record holder, Louzanne Coetzee and double Rio Paralympic silver medallist, Ilse Hayes.
SA’s top ranked junior golfer, Kajal Mistry, circuit, is a double finalist – up against Momentum Proteas opening batter, Laura Wolvaardt and last year’s double winner, Nokwanda Hlongwane, for School Sports Star of the Year – and also up for honours in the Emerging Athlete of the Year category against Asive Gilifile and Heidi Dalton.
2016 National title holders in their respective sports codes, Border women’s rugby, Western Province women’s cricket, and Gauteng Jaguars, will battle it out for Team of the Year.
Coach of the Year sees three strong candidates battle it out with leading disability sports coach, Dr. Suzanne Ferreira, Momentum Proteas coach, Hilton Moreeng, and TUT Soshanguve coach, Maude Khumalo shortlisted.
2016 triple Award winner, Rachel Makhura, is a double finalist this year. She will attempt to defend her Social Media crown against stiff competition in vocal women’s sport supporter, Cheryl Roberts, and SA correspondent to The Ladies March, Sizakhele Nkosi.
Makhura, who won the Radio category last year, is up against SABC Sport radio producer, Beverly Maphangwa and Radio 2000/BBC Test Match Special cricket commentator, Natalie Germanos.
Daily Sun sports writer and double former winner, Busisiwe Mokwena, leads the field in the Print category, up against Herald sports writer, Vuyokazi Nkanjeni, and Kickoff Magazine senior designer, Monique Petersen.
Television heavyweights, Carol Tshabalala, Lebo Motsoeli and Melissa Reddy will battle it out in the Women in Television category.
Two leading international match officials, hockey’s Michelle Joubert and Tennis SA’s Mpho Makhoba are the finalists in the Woman of the Year award alongside JVW Girls football manager, Lauren Duncan.
Seasoned SABC Sport TV anchor Vaylen Kirtley, former Banyana Banyana captain and now TV pundit, Amanda Dlamini and dirtbike ride, Dayna Nienaber, will battle it out for Style Star of the Year.
Women’s sport is fuelled by support of individuals, who are shaping the game at various levels.
Finalists for the gsport Special Recognition Award are former Springbok women’s captain, Mandisa Williams, long time media frontwoman, Lali Stander and Founder of Futballing Girls, Moonira Ramathula.
Ramthula, who freely gives her time to the development of women’s football, is also a finalist for Volunteer of the Year, alongside wheelchair tennis volunteer, Bellinah Matshedisho, and long time school sports volunteer, Thelma Achilles.
The only two male finalists are shortlisted in the Supporter of the Year category with Editor of All Things Jabu, Tyrone Barnard, and women’s sport supporter, Christopher Kwela, up against pioneer women’s sport supporter, Cheryl Roberts, a double finalist this year.
Sponsors have made it possible for women’s sport to grow and head into the professional era. Football sponsor, Sasol, netball league title sponsors, Brutal Fruit, and national women’s cricket sponsor, Momentum, are the finalists in the Sponsor of the Year category.
Cricket South Africa, Wheelchair Tennis SA and Athletics South Africa cracked the nod as finalists for Federation of the Year.
The gsport Awards was first held on 1 August 2006, when Atlanta double-gold medallist Penny Heyns was inducted as the inaugural gsport Hall of Fame recipient alongside the launch of the gsport4girls initiative.
2017 gsport Awards Finalists
1. Athlete of the Year
Caster Semenya | Karla Mostert | Sunette Viljoen
2. Athlete of the Year with Disability
Ilse Hayes | Kgothatso Montjane | Louzanne Coetzee
3. Emerging Athlete of the Year
Asive Gilifile | Heidi Dalton | Kajal Mistry
4. School Sports Star of the Year
Kajal Mistry | Laura Wolvaardt | Nokwanda Hlongwane
5. Team of the Year
Border Women’s Rugby | Gauteng Jaguars Netball Team | Western Province Women’s Cricket
6. Coach of the Year
Hilton Moreeng | Maude Khumalo | Suzanne Ferreira
7. Woman of the Year
Lauren Duncan | Michelle Joubert | Mpho Makhoba
8. Woman in Social Media
Cheryl Roberts | Rachel Makhura | Sizakele Nkosi
9. Woman in Print
Busisiwe Mokwena | Monique Petersen | Vuyokazi Nkanjeni
10. Woman in Radio
Beverly Maphangwa | Natalie Germanos | Rachel Makhura
11. Woman in Television
Carol Tshabalala | Lebo Motsoeli | Melissa Reddy
12. 2017 Style Star
Amanda Dlamini | Dayna Nienaber | Vaylen Kirtley
13. Special Recognition Award
Lali Stander | Mandisa Williams | Moonira Ramathula
14. Volunteer of the Year
Bellinah Matshedisho | Moonira Ramathula | Thelma Achilles
15. Supporter of the Year
Cheryl Roberts | Christopher Kwela | Tyron Barnard
16. Sponsor of the Year
Brutal Fruit | Momentum | Sasol
17. Federation of the Year
Athletics South Africa | Cricket South Africa | Wheelchair Tennis South Africa
Photo 1 caption: The gsport Logo
Photo 2 caption: Winners on stage at the conclusion of the 2016 SPAR gsport Awards included (Back row from left) Carol Tshabalala, Karen Losch (Wheelchair Tennis SA), Charné Bosman, Motshidisi Mohono, Rachel Makhura, Caster Semenya, Tebogo Selebogo (National Lotteries Commission), Penny Heyns, Odessa Swarts and Tanya Mostert (Free State Crinums); (Second row) Janine Van Wyk, Kgothatso Montjane, Zelda Hansen, Busisiwe Mokwena, Mignon du Preez and Lena Sithole (Worldwide Sport); and (Front row) Mama Joy Chauke, Nokwanda Hlongwane, Minister Fikile Mbalula and Faith Sibeko, at The Venue in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, on Saturday 27 August, 2016. Photo: gsport