Springbok Women’s captain, Babalwa Latsha, headlines the list of finalists for the 2020 Momentum gsport awards announced on Saturday. The 26-year-old Latsha is a triple-finalist, featuring in the categories for the Momentum Athlete of the year, Woman of the Year and the newly launched Global Woman in Sport category.

Latsha’s recognition comes after a stellar season with the oval ball, where she led South Africa to 2021 Rugby World Cup qualification and became the first South African female rugby player to sign an international Pro Rugby deal with Spanish side Eiba Rugby Taldea.

This year marks the 15th edition of the longest-running women’s sports awards in South Africa, and Africa’s only national women’s sport Awards, having been endorsed by Sport and Recreation South Africa in 2015.

The distinguished list of 60 finalists features athletes and women in sport across all disciplines and tiers, making this one of the most diverse awards as Rural, African and Global success is celebrated.

Para-athlete and double-finalist, Anrune Weyers, caps off a brilliant year on the track with her nomination for the Momentum Athlete of the Year and Athlete with Disability. Coming back from injury in 2019, she took ownership of the second half of the year by winning three medals at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai in November. She set the 400m record and also qualified for the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics.

Weyers is alongside wheelchair tri-athlete, Catherine van Staden, and South African No.1 wheelchair tennis player, Kgothatso Montjane, in the Athlete with Disability category.

Latsha and Weyers are joined by reigning South African women’s surfski champion and canoeist Hayley Nixon in the coveted Momentum Athlete of the Year category. This is the second year that Momentum is partnering with the awards. This partnership allows women in sport to boldly own their success on the Momentum gsport Awards.

Passionate champion of women’s sport, Selina Munsamy, is a double-finalist in the Supporter of the Year and Volunteer of the Year categories, alongside Shannon Landman-Kriel and Mmamello Makha in the former and Siya Loyilane and Mpho Makhoba in the latter category.

The Global Woman in Sport category features players who have made their mark on the international stage, and along with Latsha, includes 2019 Netball World Cup Player of the Tournament and Spar Proteas star, Karla Pretorius and Momentum Proteas star batter, Mignon du Preez in a tightly contested field.

The quest for African dominance in the new African Woman in Sport award will be contested by handball pioneer, Caroline Nyadiero, World Marathoner, Nontuthuko Mgabhi, and basketball writer and African football correspondent for SuperSport TV, Usher Komugisha.

Woman of the Year is an open race, with Latsha (rugby), and leading administrators Virginia Mabaso (rowing) and Sarah Braude (golf) topping the list. These finalists are driving transformation and championing women in their respective fields and communities.

Caitlin Rooskrantz, Caitlyn Macnab and Phakama Yantolo compete for the Emerging Athlete of the Year award which recognises athletes excelling at national and provincial level during the Year under Review.

Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, makes her consecutive appearance in the Coach of the Year category, alongside Cricket South Africa National Women’s Academy and U19 coach, Dinesha Devnarain, and Spar Proteas Netball coach, Dorette Badenhorst.

SPAR Proteas (2019 World Cup semi-finalist and African Champs), Momentum Proteas (ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-finalists) and Banyana Banyana (FIFA Women’s World Cup debutants) battle it out for Team of the Year.

Netball South Africa, Cricket South Africa and the South African Gymnastics Federation are recognised for their work to raise the profile of women in sport as finalists in Federation of the Year.

On the development front, SA Schools squash player, Awande Malinga, South African junior tennis player Kaitlyn Ramduth and national waterpolo player Zahraa Bodiat contest the School Sports Star award.

Sponsor of the Year lauds brands who put women’s sport first and will be contested by HollywoodBets for their contributions towards KwaZulu-Natal Women’s Cricket, SPAR for their continued support of national netball team and Telkom, title sponsors of the Telkom Netball League.

Women in media continue to make great strides with industry peers going head to head in all five media categories.

Lynn Butler from Sport24, Marizanne Kok from Netwerk24 and Busisiwe Mokwena from New Frame lead a dynamic Women in Print Category.

Rising SuperSport netball anchor, Andee Mahamba, is a finalist in the television category alongside seasoned rugby anchor Motshidisi Mohono and SABC and ICC cricket commentator, Natalie Germanos.

Feminine First host, Itumeleng Banda, Radio 2000 sports anchor Nthabiseng Mamabolo and Metro FM sports anchor, Lebo Motsoeli complete the category for Women in Radio.

Rising Sponsorship Manager, Nqobile Gama is up against repeat finalist Keabetswe Taele from M-Sports Marketing and Mabenya Sports founder, Lona Benya, as finalists for Women in PR and Sponsorship.

Social media has continued to grow to be an important mouthpiece of women’s sport and the finalists have used their voice in social media to promote, create awareness and to champion women’s sport at every opportunity. The finalists are: Jo Prins, Nandi Buthelezi and Lamla Mamoti.

Mbali Sigidi, Tatjana Schoenmaker and Zinhle Ndawonde light up the Style Star category which recognises vibrant South African women in sport who are synonymous with a leading sense of style and elegance and are an inspiration to all women in sport to aspire to build powerful personal brands.

The coveted Special Recognition Award is vied by vice president of African Gymnastics Union, Elizabeth Smith, rugby pioneer, Tshepi Moropa, and supporter of equality for women in cricket, Sue Pather.

The public help choose the winners through free voting which kicks off on the gsport Voting Hall at gsport.co.za/voting at 6am on Saturday, 1 August. Voting will close at 6pm on Monday, 10 August.

The Public Choice Award seeks to reward a Finalist who captured the public imagination and wins the largest public vote across all categories, without winning an Award.

Winners will be announced at the virtual Momentum gsport Awards on 31 August 2020. Broadcast platforms will be announced shortly.

ENDS

 

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About gsport: The initiative was launched on 1 August 2006 to address the lack of positive coverage of women’s sport. At the launch event, international swimming icon, Penny Heyns, received the inaugural award. Since then, gsport has recognised women in sport every year with over 140 recipients honoured at 14 awards events since inception.

 

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No.1 Category Finalist Name Finalist Name Finalist Name
1 Momentum Athlete of the Year

 

Babalwa Latsha Anrune Weyers Hayley Nixon
2
Athlete with Disability
 
Anrune Weyers Kgothatso Montjane Catherine van Staden
3 Emerging Athlete of the Year

 

Caitlin Rooskrantz Caitlyn Macnab Phakama Yantolo
4 Coach of the Year

 

Desiree Ellis Dinesha Devnarain Dorette Badenhorst
5 School Sports Star

 

Awande Malinga Kaitlyn Ramduth Zahraa Bodiat
6 Woman in TV

 

Andee Mahamba Motshidisi Mohono Natalie Germanos
7 Woman in Radio

 

Itumeleng Banda Lebo Motsoeli Nthabiseng Mamabolo
8 Woman in Social Media

 

Jo Prins Lamla Mamoti Nandi Buthelezi
9 Woman in Print

 

Busisiwe Mokwena Lynn Butler Marizanne Kok
10 Woman in PR and Sponsorship

 

Keabetswe Taele Lona Benya Nqobile Gama
11 Woman of the Year

 

Babalwa Latsha Sarah Braude Virginia Mabaso
12 Style Star

 

Mbali Sigidi Tatjana Schoenmaker Zinhle Ndawonde
13
Supporter of the Year
 
Mamello Makha Selina Munsamy Shannon Landman-Kriel
14
Team of the Year
 
Banyana Banyana Momentum Proteas SPAR Proteas Netball Team
15 Volunteer of the Year

 

Mpho Makhoba Selina Munsamy Siya Loyilane
16 Federation of the Year

 

Cricket South Africa Netball South Africa SA Gymnastics
17 Special Recognition Award

 

Elizabeth Smith Tshepi Moropa Sue Pather
18
Sponsor of the Year 
HollywoodBets SPAR Telkom
19 African Woman in Sport [New Award] Caroline Nyadiero Nontuthuko Mgabhi Usher Komugisha
20 Global Woman in Sport [New Award] Babalwa Latsha Karla Pretorius Mignon du Preez