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KZN sports stars up for national awards

30 October 2018

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While the excitement of winning at the 2018 KZN Sport Awards has barely diminished, the names of 19 hopefuls have been submitted for nomination in the prestigious South African Sport Awards (SASA) to take place in November.

The South African Sport Awards is a “winning nation programme” initiated in 2004 by Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) in partnership with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and a host of other stakeholders and sponsors.

The Awards aim to incentivise and applaud individual athletes, teams and administrators who continue to make the nation proud by displaying exceptional performance and attaining remarkable results.

To this end, four key categories of awards are bestowed upon worthy recipients:

  • Individual Sports Awards;
  • Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Awards;
  • Ministers Excellence Awards; and
  • Sports Star of the Year Award.

Athletes expressed their thoughts on their recent win at the 2018 KZN Sport Awards and future prospects.

Bongiwe Msomi, winner of the Sportswoman of the Year award said: “The award came as a lovely surprise as I had just returned from Australia where I participated in the Netball Quad Series.

“I am very excited to have walked away with the award. It feels really good to have been rewarded by my province. All women in sport work and train hard and I have so much respect for the athletes I was nominated alongside.

“My biggest aspiration now is to make it into the team that will compete in the Netball World Cup as well as the Diamond Cup. I did a netball clinic last week at Northlands Primary School and hope to open my own netball academy in the future. Thank you to KZN Department of Sport and Recreation for honouring our efforts as athletes.”

Aaron Alois Putz, Sportsman of the Year with a Disability awardee said: “I am so honoured and I realise my hard work is paying off.

“I am busy preparing for a training camp in America for the 2019 Global Games. After winning a gold medal at the 2017 INAS World Swimming Championships in Mexico, I am determined to make it to the Olympics and hopefully win a gold medal there as well. I hope I can continue to make my country and parents proud.”

Melisa Ann O’Neil, Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability winner said: “I am honoured and proud to have walked away with such a prestigious award. My biggest goal right now is to attempt to break the world record at the upcoming Seagull Gala.”

Zinhle Ndawonde, Sport Personality of the Year winner said: “It was my first time attending the KZN Sport Awards and I most certainly did not expect to walk away with the Sport Personality of the Year award but it is such a great feeling to know I am a winner.

“This makes me want to work even harder. I am going to a training camp in Stellenbosch where a squad will be selected for a tour in London so I am focusing on that right now. I also hope to make the team that will compete at the Rugby Women’s World Cup in 2021. Thank you to everyone who voted for me and to the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation for the honour.”

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