Western Cape’s top sports men and women were rewarded for their outstanding performances at the recent Western Cape Sports Award.
Twenty-three winners received recognition for their achievements and are expected to represent the province at the upcoming South African National Sport Awards ceremony.
The event was hosted by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in partnership with regional federations, sport councils and district municipalities.
Provincial Minister for Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer reminded the winners that their accomplishments were achieved with the help of others.
“You can only move from good to better with your family’s support. The fact that you are better together shows that the impossible is possible. We see our athletes as an extension of who we are and what we can achieve,” he said.
Sportsman of the Year
Vernon Philander scooped the award for Sportsman of the Year for his amazing performance on the cricket field in 2012. He became the second fastest test player to reach 50 wickets in February 2012, with 50 wickets in seven test matches. Philander was voted Cricket South Africa’s Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year in 2012.
Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability
Ilse Hayes came out tops in the category of Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability. She holds the African record for long jump. She won gold in long jump at the Paralympics in London in 2012 and silver in the 100m (T13) event.
Sportsman of the Year with a Disability
For his achievements in the swimming pool, Charles Bouwer was named Sports- man of the Year with a Disability. Bouwer won gold in the 50m freestyle, silver in the 100m freestyle and silver in the 100m backstroke at the Paralympics.
Coach of the Year
Suzanne Ferreira emerged as Coach of the Year for taking athletes with disabilities to new heights. The athletes she coached were selected to represent the country at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport’s World Championships. Ten of her athletes were selected for the South African Paralympic Team and they set three world records and five African records.
Newcomer of the Year
Dyan Buis was recognised as Newcomer of the Year. He came onto the scene in late 2010 and by January 2011 was selected to represent the national team at the World Championships.
He won two Paralympic medals - silver in the 100m (T38) and silver in the 200m (T38), both were world records.
Tim Noakes Scientific/ Academic Excellence Award
The award for Scientific/Academic Excellence went to Professor Mariom Keim, who has written and published extensively in the past 15 years.
Since 2009 she has been the director of the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Sport Science and Development at the University of the Western Cape. Under her guidance, the centre has published nine articles in various books and journals.
Junior Sportswoman of the Year
Bianca Buitendag, who has made her mark in surfing, was lauded as Junior Sports- woman of the Year. She is ranked fifth on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Star women’s rankings.
Junior Sportsman of the Year
Kickboxer Gregory Gans won the award for Junior Sportsman of the Year. He represented South Africa in the 2012 World Junior Kick- boxing Championships. He is the reigning South African Boxing Champion and South African Youth Games Champion.