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Homegrown talent saluted at KZN Sport Awards

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Emotions ran high and there was tremendous excitement as the much-anticipated announcement of the winners of the KZN Sport Awards 2019 was finally made at a glittering ceremony at the Durban ICC on Saturday.

The event was hosted by the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation and the chief guests, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala and MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Hlengiwe Mavimbela, who delivered a strong anti-gender violence message.

Top achievers in the sporting landscape were honoured for bringing glory to KZN for the period 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2019 at the sixth KZN Sport Awards. The awards recognize and reward the exceptional performances and accomplishments of athletes, administrators, coaches, teams and sports media personnel from KZN, on and off the field. Eighty nominees are shortlisted across 24 categories.

In his address, Honourable KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala said: “Through sports, we are able to unite our citizens, men and women, black and white, full-bodied and disabled, rural and urban, rich and poor.

“In our province, sports is at the centre of nation building and social cohesion programmes.

“When I look at our sports champions, I see a South Africa that Nelson Mandela dreamt of. I see great talent that is united in its diversity. Sportspeople where your race, sexual orientation and socio-economic status are not used to divide but to unify.”

Netball star Bongiwe Msomi scored a hat-trick when she bagged the prestigious Sportswoman of the Year award for the third year in succession. World canoeing champion, Hank McGregor, rowed his way to honours as Sportsman of the Year.

International netball player and SPAR Proteas captain for the 2017 and 2018 Quad Series, Bongiwe Msomi, was recently appointed as the head coach of the University of Johannesburg’s netball club. Born in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, Msomi represented SA in 104 caps as of July 2019. The SA netball team, led by Msomi, reached the semi-finals of the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England (2019). Earlier this year, SA beat Commonwealth Games champions, England, in their second Quad Series match in London.

The Sportswoman of the Year and Sportsman of the Year will be driving off in style in the spanking new VW Polo hatchbacks sponsored by Joma Sports which formed part of the prize-giving.

The Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability award went to Paula van Zyl while Charles Phillips was chosen for Sportsman of the Year with a Disability.

Hank McGregor was once again crowned World Champion at the ICF World Marathon Championships in Portugal after winning the K2 Men’s event with his partner Andy Birkett. He won the gruelling 53km Molokai Challenge in May and beat current World Champion, Cory Hill, at the World Cup Surfski event in Mauritius. Continuously proving his mettle on the national and international stage, he has a burning desire to win the World Champion Surfski title.

World canoeing champion, Hank McGregor, rowed his way to honours as Sportsman of the Year. McGregor did not attend the Awards ceremony as he is preparing to compete at the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Marathon World Championships in Shaoxing, China from 17-20 October.

Paula van Zyl holds African records for 200m freestyle (2019) and 200m Individual Medley. Her SA records are for U/14, U/18 and senior record for 200m Individual Medley for short course and U/18 and senior record for 50m breaststroke for long course. At the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association World Games 2018, she ranked first in five events and brought home three gold medals. At the SA Schools Championships, she won four gold medals. She secured first place in the physically-disabled category at the Midmar Mile and bagged two gold and two bronze medals at the SA National Championships 2019.

Versatile sportsman, Charles Phillips, received five gold and one silver medal in every discipline in which he competed at the 2018 SA Gymnastics Nationals. He returned home with six gold medals and the crowing honour of British Open Champion 2019 after participating at the British Open Down Syndrome Gymnastics Championships in Leicester, England. His highest accolade – Sportsman of the Year 2018 – was judged against stiff competition from every SA Gymnastics Federation discipline – aerobics, acrobatics, artistic, trampoline and rope skipping for able-bodied and physically-handicapped and intellectually- disabled sportsmen.

The sporting fraternity at large and guests at the KZN Sport Awards 2019 demonstrated solidarity against gender-based violence by wearing white ribbons on the evening.

The Department of Sport and Recreation’s vision is to enable an active and winning province through sport and recreation.

In her address, Mavimbela said: “As we celebrate 25 years of Sporting Excellence, this platform recognizes the commitment and dedication of our sporting heroes and heroines who continue to fly the KZN flag high at national level and on the international stage.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sports stars who have joined the Department in sending a strong message in our #SportStarsUnitedAgainstGenderBasedViolence campaign. With everyone working together we can beat this scourge of violence against women.”

The public favourite, Aaron Putz, was chosen as the Sports Personality of the Year in the swimming category.

Several special recognition awards were bestowed by the MEC upon individuals who excelled in 2018/19:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Les Andreason

Posthumous Award – Roger Sikhakhane

Special Honour Award – Sanelisiwe Ximba

Achievement Against All Odds – Sthabile Francisca Mnyandu

Black Blazer Honour – Gertrude Magwaza

The public favourite, Aaron Putz, was chosen as the Sports Personality of the Year in the swimming category. The public cast their votes based on a list of 12 sports stars shortlisted by an independent panel of judges.

The sponsors of the 2019 KZN Sport Awards are acknowledged for their generosity and support – Joma Sports, Tourvest Travel Services, Solly M Sports, Coastlands Hotels & Resorts, Institute of Sport, Subban and Subban Group, The Royal Hotel, Margate Sports School, Shane J Coaches and Cape Town Durbanville Hills.

Winners in the different categories will be submitted for nomination in the national South African Sport Awards next month.

Winners in the various categories and sporting codes are as follows:

No. Category Name & Surname Code of sport
1 Administrator of the Year Banele Magadla Boxing
2 Junior Sportsman of the Year Connor Botha Lifesaving
3 Junior Sportswoman of the Year Amber Schlebusch Triathlon
4 Sportswoman of the Year Bongiwe Msomi Netball
5 Sportswoman of the Year with a disability Paula van Zyl DISSA Sport – Aquatics
6 Sportsman of the Year Hank McGregor Canoeing
7 Sportsman of the Year with a disability Charles Phillips DISSA Sport – Gymnastics
8 Team of the Year Phantane Athletics Club Athletics
9 Indigenous Games Team of the Year Kho-Kho IG’s
10 Newcomer of the Year Phendulani “Phepsi” Buthelezi Rugby
11 Coach of the Year Xolani Mabhida Athletics
12 Recreation body of the Year loveLife Trust Recreational Entity
13 Federation of the Year KZN Netball Association Netball
14 Photographer of the Year Shannon Gilson Media
15 Sports journalist of the Year Nduduzo Dladla Media
16 Sports Personality of the Year Aaron Putz Swimming
17 School team of the Year Luthayi High School Netball
18 Developing school team of the Year Muzuvukile Primary School Football
19 Volunteer of the Year Dineo Fihlela Basketball
20 Technical Official of the Year Nolubabalo Ndzoyiya Boxing
MEC Special Recognition Awards:
21 Lifetime Achievement Award Les Andreason N/A
22 Posthumous Award Roger Sikhakhane N/A
23 Special Honour Award Sanelisiwe Ximba N/A
24 Achievement Against All Odds Sthabile Francisca Mnyandu N/A
25 Black Blazer Honour Gertrude Magwaza N/A

 

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