The annual Momentum gsport awards continues to celebrate women who are making huge strides in sport – from the boardroom to the playing field – South Africa is a country that boasts a lot of feminine talent.

The Momentum gsport Awards is the event on the calendar we all look forward to. It is a night where we all dress up, get our hair did, our faces beat, and strut down that Red Carpet. Covid-19 lockdown posed a threat to many calendars, gsport15 was no different. But thankfully level 2 meant that the event could still go ahead, with all necessary precautions adhered to: smaller guest list, lots of hand sanitiser and masks to match the gorgeous gowns of course.

Kass Naidoo and the team never do anything half-measured. Each year the awards just get better and better. If you think #gsport14 was lit, #gsport15 blew my mind!

Upon arrival at the hotel, you could immediately sense the buzz amongst the guests, including hotel staff. We all had appointments throughout the weekend at Just Tonight Josephine, who dressed all the winners and guests in those beautiful gowns you saw last night (Monday, 31 August). I must admit, I got lost in the boutique but after attending a few Momentum gsport Awards ceremonies, I knew exactly what my dream dress would be: a dress with sleeves. The Highveld winter nights are frosty!

After lunch, it was hair and make-up. We were all broken into smaller groups and would take the shuttles to the venue, so as to adhere to lockdown level 2 regulations. Off we went! Excited. Nervous. A mixed bowl of emotions.  We had no idea what awaited us. As we pulled up in the parking area, all we saw was a red carpet, lights, waiters and cameras!

One can imagine how tricky it is to stage an event of that magnitude during this precarious time of Covid-19, where fear of contracting the virus is still almost palpable. Thank goodness we all received glam masks (remember how I said Kass and the team never do things half-measured?).

Upon arrival, we were screened and completed the forms/questionnaire. Once we passed the screening, we were allowed onto the Red Carpet.

Lights, camera, action! When gsport said glitz and glam, they really meant GLITZ AND GLAM! The Red Carpet was the place to be where everyone posed for a photo and the inner “liker of things” in me and the other guests crept out from the shy women to the confident women.

Let me start practicing “Owning My Success” and acknowledge how stunning I looked in my navy blue gown. As the saying goes, “when you look good, you feel good.” I sure felt stunning! May we normalise dressing up and celebrating each other as sisters.

The photographers and videographers made sure every guest felt like they are the most important person at the event. Everyone was VIP! The entire event was outside while the award handover took place inside the venue. Winners were announced and entered the indoor stage venue where they received their award, made their speech and had professional pictures taken before moving back outside. Our five leading women on the presenter squad – Kea Motlokwa, Rachel Makhura, Lonwabo Nkohla, Lesego Pooe and Sinethemba Mbatha did a phenomenal job. One would think that this young group of professionals had been doing this for decades! Well done ladies!

Being outside helped with the social distancing and not everyone being crammed up in one venue. The weather cooperated and although cold, warm outdoor heaters were strategically placed so that everyone could get warm. What I loved about the set-up was that you had more time to engage with others, more time to network and have those deep, invaluable conversations with women you have always wanted to engage with. Events during Covid-19 are indeed possible and having an operations team on board like that of the gsport Team, you are guaranteed to be treated with respect in a very safe environment.

My favourite memories from last night must be the fact that every single women was dressed to impress – they were glammed up! To see ladies we usually see in casual sneakers and sports gear, looking breathtakingly beautiful, was such a treat. South Africa really does have beautiful women!

This morning I got ready to head back home after such a great night! My heart is full. South Africa has a pool of talent and we thank gsport, Momentum, Vision View, SuperSport, Estée Lauder and all the other sponsors who back women’s sport. Women’s sport is not a charity; it is an investment and these brands have proven this to be true.

Congratulations to all the winners! To walk away with this coveted award, to show up and own your success in a time where women’s lights are being diminished for all sorts of reasons, is a call for celebration. The winners showed up last night and were deservedly congratulated by their peers for their success. This is what the Momentum gsport Awards is all about – it is about owning your success but also celebrating each other’s success. There is a space for everyone at the table.

‘When your light shines brighter, others won’t be harmed by the glare; they will be encouraged to become a more luminescent version of themselves. That’s what leadership looks like.’ – Rachel Hollis

From the gsport Team:

Wow, wow, wow! We knew as we were climbing this uncharted side of the mountain that this would be something special, but truly it still exceeded our expectations. Planning an event under normal circumstances can age you, what more during a partial lockdown due to an unprecedented respiratory virus. We can only be grateful and proud to have done so, so beautifully, so gracefully. Not only did the finalists get VVIP treatment but we also managed to ensure that South Africa gets to witness that which we sports journalists witness on a daily, the incredible women in sport that Mzansi boasts. We were being beamed on SS11 (look out for the repeats), premiered and are up permanently on YouTube.

Nothing beats seeing what was a plan on a piece of paper (shared via Zoom) manifest into one of South Africa’s biggest and best award shows.

gsport and Momentum showed up and showed off. A masterclass in celebrating women and we own that success.

Thank you for all the support over the years. While there are many battles to fight as women in sport and in general, we should take this moment in, savour it, it is ours. As we each head back to our own corners and get back to shatter barriers and break glass ceilings, may we do so with poise, confidence and Own Our Success.

gsport will be in constant touch, updating on you on these incredible finalists and winners as they work for their goals and dreams, and of course that cherry on top, #gsport16.

 

Photo 1 Caption: 2019 Momentum gsport Awards Woman in PR and Sponsorship winner, Marisa Calvert, joined the gsport Team in celebrating and honouring women in sport during the #gsport15 campaign. Photo: gsport