Gauteng’s top athletes honoured
Photo caption: Some of the winners of the Gauteng Sports Awards with Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane (Photographer: Moses Nkosi)
Gauteng’s top athletes were honoured at the 2012 Gauteng Sport Awards during a glittering event at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg recently. Sportsmen, sportswomen and teams were awarded in 14 different categories.
Sportsman of the year: Francois du Plessis, cricket
Francois or Faf as he is known by his fans, made his under-19 debut for South Africa on the tour of England in 2003. He was chosen for the Pro- teas’ One Day International line-up during the 2010/11 season when he hit three centuries and made more than 500 runs in a 40-overs competition. He is one of the best all-round fielders in the country.
Sportswoman of the year: Pietie Coetzee, field hockey
Pietie Coetzee has represented the Southern Gauteng hockey team for more than 10 years and made her South African debut at the age of 16 and has broken the world record for the number of goals scored by an individual player. She has scored 200 international goals in 200 international matches and represented South Africa in two Commonwealth Games, three World Cups and two Olympic Games.
Sportsman of the year with a disability: Samkelo Radebe, athletics
Soweto born, Samkelo is an LLB Law student at the University of Johannesburg. He is a bi-lateral, below elbow amputee and represents South Africa in class T45 athletics. Achievements include UJ Sportsman of the Year, a gold medal at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee World Championships in New Zealand and two gold medals at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation World Games in the Arab Emirates.
Sportswoman of the year with a disability: Bonita Blankenberg, motorsport
Bonita Blankenberg started with blind navigating at the age of 19 “for fun”, but today she is the reigning Regularity Rallying Blind Navigator Champion. After winning the 2011 championship, Bonita said, “I still have to remind myself that we won; it was a great feeling, especially since I had to work very hard to win it. For me, rallying was always just for fun, so it took quite a mind-shift to look at it from a competitive angle.”
Coach of the year: Ilse Laing, gymnastics
Ilse Laign has been national coach for the Proteas for the past seven years and is the head coach and owner of the JGC Gymnastics’s Club. In 2011, Laign coached the Junior Championships team, the World Cup team and the World Championships team in Belgium and Japan. Laing also achieved the highest qualification of Brevet Coach and is an international judge.
Most promising athlete: Shianne Addinall, water ski
At only 13 years old and specialising in bare-foot water skiing, Addinall excelled at the 2011 South African Championships u/17 in Kimberley and was awarded the title of most improved skier in South Africa for 2011. Her current rankings are second in Europe and Africa Junior, fifth in Europe and Africa all ages; seventh in the World Junior Section and 20th in the World.
Sport personality: Lucky Lekgwathi, football
Captain of Orlando Pirates Football Club Lucky Lekgwathi has done more than 100 league appearances for the team. He is the winner of the Premier Soccer League Title Champions 2010/2011 season, MTN Top Eight for 2010/2011, Nedbank Cup 2010/2011 and the Carling Black Label Cup 2011. Lucky was also named the MTN 8 Player of the Tournament in 2011.
Team of the year: Orlando Pirates, soccer
Orlando Pirates won the domestic league, the Nedbank Cup and the MTN 8 during the 2010/2011 season. They are the reigning PSL champions, MTN 8 Cup champions and the Telkom Cup champions and achieved a treble (winning three trophies in a single season) in back-to-back seasons.
Sport team of the year with disability: Kwa Thema Disability Club, athletics
Nine of the club’s members qualified to represent Gauteng in the National Games held in 2012. The club won six gold medals, four silver medals and four bronze medals at the IWAS Games in Europe in 2011.
Most promising team of the year: University of Pretoria (Tuks): football
The team achieved third place in the National First Division Inland Stream in the 2010/2011 season and they were winners in the 2011/2012 season. The club has produced a number of national performers, including Bongani Khumalo, George Maluleka, Andile Jali and Afcon winner Davies Nkausu of Zambia.
Technical official of the year: Zakhele Thusi Siwela, football
Zakhele provides refereeing services for the Premier Soccer League, South African Football Association (SAFA) and FIFA. He acquired FIFA Level 7 and was promoted from SAFA to FIFA. He enjoys recognition both nationally and internationally.
Administrator of the year: Senzo Mazingiza, football
General Manager of Orlando Pirates Football Club Senzo has contributed to the success of Orlando Pirates in the 2010/2011 season with his administrative strength. He has achieved the PSL Title Champions 2010/2011 season, MTN Top 8 winners 2010/2011, Nedbank Cup winner 2010/2011, and Carling Black Label Cup winner 2011.
Sport journalist of the year: Velile Mbuli
In 2008, writing for the SABC Sport info hub, Velile was working with 18 SABC radio stations providing sound bites, packages and interviews for 105 sports bulletins and 15 sports programmes on a daily basis. During the SAFA Annual Awards in November 2010, he won the SAFA Media of the Year Award in radio and in 2011, he addressed the FIFA Women’s Football Symposium in Germany during the Women’s World Cup.