Four-time winner, Kgothatso Montjane, is shortlisted once again for the Brand SA Para Sport Star of the Year at the 2021 Momentum gsport Awards alongside record breaker, Maria Combrink and celebrated adaptive surfer, Noluthando Makalima.
Makalima is a shining example of strength and perseverance, and a role model within her community of Khayelitsha. The adaptive surfer has recorded impressive success in national and international tournaments. She won silver at the 2020 ISA World Championships in USA and has set sights on being included in the next South Africa Para Team that will feature in the 2022 competition.
The 32 year old, who received a Ministerial Recognition of Excellence award at the Momentum gsport Awards last year, is proud of what she achieved in the past year and is over the moon that she is sealing it with being a #gsport16 finalist.
“I am so happy to be a finalist in this category. I am so thankful for this opportunity and I wish and pray that I become the winner. Winning a gsport award last year changed my life. Earlier this year, I was again awarded a Ministerial Recognition Award and I was so happy and grateful. I am sitting here hoping to go participate in a tournament in America with the South African team and to receive this news about me being a finalist for the awards has helped me remain more hopeful that I will make the team that is leaving in December.
“The Momentum gsport Awards has changed my life in such a big way. They always put my name out there whenever I achieve great things and since winning the award last year, more people recognise me, more media, even international ones, have given me a platform, I really hope I win again this year. I want to inspire other para athletes to work harder and hope for the best.”
World record breaker, Maria Combrink is grateful to be named among para athletes that she draws inspiration from. In the past year, Combrink broke the World Record for Shotput F64 and set a new SA Record for para powerlifting. She is the biggest advocate for South African women in disability sport and is a South African ambassador who wants to see more para athletes across multiple sporting codes take over the world through sports.
This is what Combrink had to say about being a #gsport16 finalist: “What an honour and a surprise to be shortlisted for the Brand SA Para Sport Star of the Year. It was completely unexpected but absolutely welcome, especially considering what we have gone through with Covid. I feel blessed that someone saw what I have done in the past year and nominated me.
“I have had amazing records and put in a lot of work in the past year, broke international records and set new South African records. Thank you for the recognition, the Momentum gsport Awards have done a tremendous job in celebrating women in sport. It is truly amazing that this platform exists and that it was a brainchild of another woman in sport. I am looking forward to the awards and I wish every finalist good luck.”
Two-time #gsport16 finalist, Kgothatso Montjane, who is also up for the Sasol Global Woman in Sport award, is hoping that she can record a fifth win in this category. In 2021, Montjane wrote her name in wheelchair tennis history books becoming the first South African black female to reach a singles and doubles final at Wimbledon. Montjane earned runners-up medals in both categories at the prestigious tournament. Reflecting on both categories that she is a finalist for, this is what Montjane said:
“I can’t believe that I am a finalist in two categories that means the world to me. Firstly representing para athletes and also being recognised as a woman doing well in representing South African women in sport on a global scale. I have won this award four times already and I cannot believe the impact this has had on both myself and other para athletes. It inspires me as much as It inspires others to be recognised at the Momentum gsport Awards, I do not take any of this for granted. So grateful to brands like Brand SA who put their support and resources to supporting women in sport.”