Who will be SA Sports Star this year?

2012-11-03 17:43

This has been one of the busiest sporting years for South Africans, with sports people excelling in major international events.

Team SA came back with a haul of six medals from the London Olympic Games thanks to the outstanding efforts of swimmers Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos, who each won medals in their events.

Van der Burgh broke both an Olympic record and a world record in the 100m breaststroke while Le Clos eclipsed defending champion Michael Phelps - his idol - to claim the title in the 100m butterfly. Le Clos also brought home a silver in the 200m fly.

For the first time, South Africa won a gold Olympic medal in the men’s rowing and in the women’s sprint canoeing. And then Caster Semenya won silver in the women’s 800m final.

Banyana Banyana did not do well at the Olympics but the experience they gained was invaluable.

Considering that most Banyana players were amateurs coming up against Swedish and Japanese sides teeming with professionals, the South Africans gave a good account of themselves.

Tonight’s SA Sports Awards will provide a chance to reflect on and celebrate the triumphs of Olympians, Paralympians and outstanding performances of professional and amateur clubs and athletes.

The annual celebration, which is Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s brainchild – is intended to bring together athletes, clubs, coaches, volunteers, teams and the wider professional partnership to reward quality, achievement, determination and commitment.

The sport department’s spokesperson, Paena Galane, said: “It’s a fantastic culmination of the year’s sporting successes, giving profile and recognition to finalists and their supporters.”

This year’s occasion will be graced by Venus and Serena Williams who are visiting to launch the Breaking the Mould campaign for women who have overcome challenges and adversities to succeed.

“We are blessed and privileged to have the sisters attending the event,” added Galane, “we hope their presence will also inspire and encourage athletes, especially sportswomen.”

The overall winner (Sports Star of the Year) will earn R1 million and a luxury car, while the other nominees will walk away with R130 000 each.

Proteas batsman Hashim Amla, who won last year, is among the top names nominated for the award.

Other contenders in this category are Natalie du Toit, Oscar Pistorius, Le Clos, Vernon Philander, Siyabonga Nomvete and Semenya.

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