The country’s sport stars received much deserved recognition for their thrilling talent with the top achievers rewarded at the South African Sports Awards.
“It was a night that truly honoured our sporting greats, up-and-coming talent and the federations, schools and administrators that turn our youth into future sports stars. Our sporting heroes are our nation's pride,” said the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, after the recent awards in Sandton.
The country’s sports stars had made South Africa proud, he added.
“They continually represent our country at an extremely high level, and they are some of our best ambassadors. At the SA Sports Awards we honoured all the sports stars big and small the way they deserve to be honoured - as stars.”
The event was a collaboration between Sports and Recreation South Africa, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the SABC and the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. The grand total in prize money - a staggering R3.7 million - was split among the winners in each category. All nominees received R10 000.
The coveted title of Sports Star of the Year, as voted for by the public, went to Olympic medallist and swimmer Chad le Clos. He walked away with R1 million in prize money and a new BMW.
“Chad has not only won the hearts of South Africans but those of millions around the globe. His achievements at the Olympics have catapulted him onto the world stage,” remarked Minister Mbalula.
Other winners included:
- Sportsman of the Year - Proteas fast bowler Vernon Philander.
- Sportsman of the Year with a Disability - Oscar Pistorius, who made history in 2012 by becoming the first double amputee to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics.
- Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability - recently retired swimming sensation Natalie du Toit.
- Sportswoman of the Year - the queen of the track Caster Semenya.
- Newcomer of the Year - up-and-coming rugby star Siyamthanda Kolisi.
- Team of the Year - the South African rowing team, affectionately known as the Awesome Foursome.
- Coach of the Year - Joseph Mkhonza of Banyana Banyana.
- School Team of the Year - Ithembelihle Comprehensive School for Rugby.
- Developing School Team of the Year - Nkunzimbini Junior Secondary School for football.
The Steve Tshwete Lifetime Award 2012 winners were:
- Elijah Tap Tap Makhithini (boxing);
- Papwa Sewgolum Sewsunker (golf);
- Sam Ramsamy;
- Petros Molemela (football);
- Sally Little (golf);
- Joost van der Westhuizen (rugby).
Green Jacket recipients for 2012:
- Nelson Teenage Dladla (football);
- Matthews Motshwarateu and Blanche Moila (athletics)
- Grant Khomo (cricket, rugby, football and tennis) was bestowed with the Order of Ikhamanga.