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Springboks steal the show,at the SA Sport Awards.

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The 17th Annual South African Sport Awards, a celebration of sporting excellence, pulsated Sun City with vibrant energy on Sunday night. This year's ceremony, themed "Celebrating 30 years of freedom through sporting excellence," transcended mere competition, highlighting the profound role sport plays in building a strong, unified South Africa.

The Springboks reigned supreme, showcasing the power of teamwork and dedication. Siya Kolisi, the inspirational captain whose leadership extends far beyond the field, secured both the Sport Star of the Year and the People's Choice Award. The roar of the crowd echoed Kolisi's immense influence, not just on the team's recent World Cup victory but on the nation's spirit.

The Springbok dominance continued with Jacques Nienaber, the mastermind coach, taking home Coach of the Year. The unmovable force in the pack, Eben Etzebeth, won Sportsman of the Year, while the exciting newcomer, Manie Libbok, secured the Newcomer of the Year award. After completing the green and gold sweep, the South African Rugby Union won both National Federation of the Year and Administrator of the Year, with Mark Alexander receiving the latter.

However, the evening wasn't solely about the current golden generation. The awards beautifully incorporated South Africa's rich sporting history. Legendary figures like Makhaya Ntini, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Brian Mitchell, and Cassius Baloyi took center stage, announcing awards and inspiring the next generation with their iconic journeys. Their presence served as a powerful reminder of the enduring legacy of South African athletes and the unifying power of sport.

With the 2024 Olympic Games and Cricket World Cup looming large on the horizon, the awards ceremony served as a rallying cry. The dedication of athletes across all disciplines promises an exciting future as South African sport continues its upward trajectory. The 17th SA Sport Awards were a celebration of sporting excellence but, more importantly, a testament to the unifying power of sport in building a nation on the cusp of even greater victory.

Full list of winners:

Administrator of the Year: Mark Alexander (SA Rugby Union)

Sportsman of the Year: Eben Etzebeth (Springboks)

Sportsman of the Year With a Disability: Mpumelelo Mhlongo (South African Sport Association for the Physically Disabled)

Sportswoman of the Year: Kirsten Neuschäfer (Sailing South Africa)

Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability: Simone Kruger (South African Sport Association for the Physically Disabled, Para Athletics)

Team of the Year: Springboks

Newcomer of the Year: Manie Libbok (Springboks)

Coach of the Year: Jacques Nienaber (Springboks)

Volunteer of the Year: Rebecca Ntsanwisi (Vakhegula Vakhegula)

Indigenous Games Team of the Year: Diketo Gauteng

National Federation of the Year: South African Rugby Union

Recreation Body of the Year: Amandla Social Enterprises (WC)

Sport Photo or Visual Journalist of the Year: Samuel Shivambu

Sport Journalist of the Year: Khanyiso Tshwaku

Sport Star of the Year: Siya Kolisi (Springbok captain)

People’s Choice of the Year: Siya Kolisi (Springbok captain)

School team of the Year: Hoër Landbouskool Oakdale – tug of war 560kg junior men’s team

Developing School Team of the Year: Hlabi Secondary School – netball U-19 team

Technical Official of the Year: Sean Rapaport (South African Hockey Association).



(Photo: OJ Koloti / Gallo Images)
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

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