Treble World Champion, Caster Semenya, bagged her third gsport Awards title when she was crowned gsport Athlete of the Year at the 12th edition of the country’s longest running women’s sport Awards.
Semenya, who is concluding her international season, and couldn’t attend the 2017 gsport Awards, was honoured for stellar year in 2016, which included Olympic gold, and an unbeaten run in 800m since September 2015.
Semenya’s best friend, Kgothatso Montjane, who is away at the US Open, was also a big winner on the night, walking away with her third Athlete of the Year with Disability award presented by Big Five Duty Free.
South Africa’s number one junior and senior golfer, Kajal Mistry, won the Sasol Emerging Athlete of the Year as she continues her rise in South African women’s golf.
Proteas women opener, Laura Wolvaardt, who at 18, has the world at her feet, won the School Sports Star of the Year award, presented by Sport and Recreation South Africa.
Former Banyana Banyana captain and popular TV pundit, Amanda Dlamini won the Estee Lauder Style Star of the Year.
Former Springbok captain, Mandisa Williams, who made her mark internationally, has pioneered the growth of women’s rugby in the Border area won the gsport Special Recognition Award.
Western Province women’s cricket took top honours when they were crowned Team of the Year.
International tennis umpire, Mpho Makhoba, was crowned gsport Woman of the Year presented by Gauteng Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
Women’s sport activist, Cheryl Roberts, was a double winner, walking away with the Supporter of the Year title and Woman in Social Media.
Leading SABC Sport anchor, Lebo Motsoeli won Woman in TV, Channel Africa’s Rachel Makhura won Woman in Radio and Busisiwe Mokwena, who won her third Woman in Media award.
Veteran sports commentator, Vicky Masuku, of Ukhozi FM fame, was inducted into the gsport Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Penny Heyns, Hazel Gumede, and Elana Meyer.
Sasol, sponsors of the Sasol League and Banyana Banyana, were crowned Sponsor of the Year for their role in shaping women’s football in South Africa while Cricket South Africa was named Federation of the Year, for their ongoing efforts to raise the profile of women’s cricket.
Champion disability sport coach, Dr Suzanne Ferreira, won the gsport Coach of the Year award.
Founder of Futballing Girls, Moonira Ramathula won Volunteer of the Year while JVW Football administrator, Lauren Duncan, won the inaugural Public Choice Award.
The evening concluded with Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa, Thulas Nxesi, honouring leading lights in women’s sport in five Ministerial Recognition Awards.
The recipients were Virginia Mabaso, Dr. Phathokuhle Zondi, Prof Cora Burnett, Rosina Sedibane-Modiba and Mavis Sgudhla.
The gsport Awards is a partnership between the gsport Trust and SRSA, supported by Gauteng Sport, Estee Lauder, SABC Sport, Big Five Duty Free, Indyebo Consulting, Nyapotse Inc and Sasol.
Winners at the 2017 gsport Awards:
Athlete of the Year – Caster Semenya
800m Olympic champion at Rio 2016 after she raced to a PB for gold, Caster Semenya’s form has been the model of consistency in the year under review. Unbeaten for 20+ months, Semenya dominated the IAAF World Leading ranking, running a 1:56.61 SB at the Doha Diamond League on 5 May.
Athlete with Disability – Kgothatso Montjane
SA’s no.1 wheelchair tennis player, Kgothatso Montjane is unbeaten by another domestic player for nine years. Ranked 8 in the world and boasting two singles titles alongside five doubles titles in the year under review, Montjane owns her court with the distinction of a battle-hardened elder-stateswoman.
Emerging Athlete – Kajal Mistry
Ever quick to compliment the remarkable skills of her age-group rivals, silent assassin Kajal Mistry was the undisputed boss of the SA amateur golf circuit with four victories in 2016, and ended the season ranked number one boasting a further four major victories in early 2017 to close the year under review.
School Sports Star – Laura Wolvaardt
Sparkling amongst a string glittering performances, Parklands College head-girl and Momentum Proteas cricketer Laura Wolvaardt became the youngest South African to score an ODI century when she knocked off 149 off 149 balls against Ireland at Potchefstroom for the second-highest individual score by an SA woman.
Team of the Year – Western Province Cricket
Strength in youth and experience saw the Western Province Women’s Cricket Team enhance a proud tradition of national dominance, winning two of the three titles on offer including a historic first-ever fourth-consecutive CSA Provincial League champs title, beating Gauteng by 98 runs in Bloemfontein.
Coach of the Year – Suzanne Ferreira
A Sports Medicine, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Medicine expert, Stellenbosch University lecturer Dr Suzanne Ferreira was most recently national coach for Team SA to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, where athletes under her guidance won a Gold, 3 Silvers and 2 Bronze medals, including a World record and a Paralympic record.
Woman of the Year – Mpho Makhoba
A grassroots-volunteer who aims to guide novice enthusiasts into the world of sports officiating, tennis coach Mpho Makhoba is the fourth SA woman to receive an international Chief of Umpires qualification, and is the first domestic female official to earn an International Tennis Federation umpire’s qualification.
Woman in Radio – Rachel Makhura
Having scooped the 2016 gsport Social Media and Radio Awards, formidable Radio Channel Africa sports reporter, producer and radio presenter Rachel Makhura is again honoured tonight for her exceptional work as a consistent and solid supporter of women’s sport, on the international radio service.
Woman in Television – Lebo Motsoeli
An award-winning television presenter, voice-over artist, scriptwriter and producer widely known for a variety of SABC sports programmes, Lebo Motsoeli presented the first sport programme dedicated to woman, Women in Sport, and today she continues this cause on The Ladies Club alongside Vaylen Kirtley.
Woman in Print – Busisiwe Mokwena
Daily Sun and Sunday Sun sports journalist Busisiwe Mokwena has earned her position as a leading source of information about African women’s sport. The Rosebank College graduate’s dedication is clear as she works hard to create trusting relationships with women sports stars, working to ensure improved coverage of their work in national colours.
Woman in Social Media – Cheryl Roberts
Blazing a trail as SA’s self-appointed champion for racial and gender transformation in sport, Cheryl Roberts is the most prolific self-standing publisher of SA women in sport content, and freely shares professional-grade imagery and breaking news about our women athletes across her social media accounts.
Volunteer of the Year – Moonira Ramathula
From a soccer mom to chairperson of the Germiston Local Football Association and founder of Futballing Girls, it is Moonira Ramathula’s mission to encourage girls to play football. A volunteer administrator, coach and a referee, she has guided players to regional and provincial selection while putting others in their first pair of boots.
Supporter of the Year – Cheryl Roberts
Cheryl Roberts is a well-known sports activist, publisher and writer, who long supported women’s sport in opposition to apartheid prejudices and discrimination of race and gender in sport. Fuelled by her burning ambition to shine a bright light on the urgent need for transformation, Roberts has emerged as a champion supporter of SA women in sport.
Special Recognition Award – Mandisa Williams
Counted among the pioneers of SA women’s rugby participation in global events, Mandisa Williams rose to captain Springbok teams in both Test and 7’s formats. Fondly remembered for her long-past contributions in East London’s Imonti Penguins colours, today the Border Women’s Rugby coordinator builds on Border Rugby’s decade-long dominance of national competitions.
Style Star – Amanda Dlamini
Former SASOL Banyana Banyana captain and double Olympic athlete Amanda Dlamini exudes power and poise as an athlete. Her striking public figure has won her a SA brand ambassadorship with international clothing label Jockey, and her winning qualities are front row for all to appreciate in her new role as a TV sports pundit.
Sponsor of the Year – SASOL
Established in 2009, SASOL’s sponsorship of women’s football has been instrumental in a growing awareness of the game in South Africa, through the developmentally-focused annual football festival in partnership with SAFA; its Sasol League (boasting 2,800 players in 144 teams); and its world-class support of Banyana Banyana.
Federation of the Year – Cricket South Africa
Cricket South Africa has achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first Federation to sign a fully professional senior women’s team, and the results of its investment is paying dividends with the Momentum Proteas matching their best-ever World Cup performance in qualifying for the semi-finals in England.
Public Choice Award – Lauren Duncan
Lauren Duncan’s passion lies in the development and constant upliftment of women’s football in South Africa. She work hard to ensure that people start taking more notice of the talent the country has and to be able to give young girls opportunities so follow their dreams in becoming professional athletes.
Hall of Fame Award – Vicky Masuku
Multiple award-winning sport anchor Vicky Masuku celebrates 20 years in sport broadcasting this year after the former KwaMashu teacher branched out in 1997 to pursue her no. 1 career ambition. She was soon appointed as in-studio sports anchor for UKhozi FM, where she commentated on soccer, rugby and cricket over the years. Masuku is the third media specialist to be inducted into the gsport Hall of Fame, after TV veteran Tinky Pringle and sports equality activist Cheryl Roberts.
Ministerial Recognition Award: Virginia Mabaso
Development officer Virginia Mabaso is celebrating 10 years at Rowing South Africa. 2014/2015 saw the biggest growth of their indoor rowing programme ever, under the guidance of Mabaso. She spends hours on the road and in remote locations looking after Row SA’s indoor rowing assets and making sure that she gets maximum return for its programmes.
Ministerial Recognition Award: Dr. Phathokuhle Zondi
A passion for developing and mentoring young women drives Sports and Exercise Medicine Physician Dr Phathokuhle Zondi. Serving as President of the South African Sports Medicine Association, the noted author and lecturer has provided clinical support to Team SA at London 2012, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Ministerial Recognition Award: Prof Cora Burnett
Prof Cora Burnett is a towering intellectual who lists her work developing a Sport for Development Impact Assessment Tool as a career hightlight in amongst a wide range of professional and personal pursuits. Her work in reseach and writing is guided by a personal conviction that “nobody knows better, all know different.”
Ministerial Recognition Award: Rosina Sedibane-Modiba
A natural athletic capacity and a competitive spirit brought the best out of Rosina Sedibane-Modiba, the first black woman to win a 1500m gold medal at the then-Northern Transvaal Open Champs in 1976, a year that also saw the talented athlete set new SAAAF records over the 400m, 800m, 1500m and 3000m distances.
Ministerial Recognition Award: Mavis Sgudhla
Mavis Sgudhla started playing soccer at age six in Daveyton, and her love for the beautiful game contines to light her way to this day, in her community development work for her football club, JuJu Mama FC. She volunteers across girl empowerment and sporting initiatives to make a difference in disadvantaged communities in Klipkruisfontein.
Photo 1 caption: 2017 gsport Awards winners take in the moment at the conclusion of the night’s broadcast in which 24 champions of women’s sport in SA were recognized for outstanding work driving the movement forward. Photo: gsport