Various sporting federations, league clubs and individuals were recognised and awarded by the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture during a prestigious event at the Northern Cape Theatre on Thursday (04/10) under the theme “Today’s champions, tomorrow’s legends”.Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, Northern Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, applauded the receipients of the awards for excelling in their various sporting codes and for holding the Northern Cape flag high, on and off the field of play.The provincial awards ceremony followed the five district sports award ceremonies.Here stronger contenders managed to secure their spots in the provincial event against nominees of provincial federations.Categories recognised individuals, males, females, people with disabilities, continental participants, federations, schools and community sport volunteers. Recognition was given to the sports star of the year, sportsman and sportswoman of the year, sportsman and sportswoman of the year with a disability, newcomer of the year, coach of the year, team of the year, federation of the year, administrator of the year, volunteer of the year, referee of the year, stakeholder of the year, school team of the year, sports journalist of the year, developing school team of the year and school sports structure of the year. The MEC took the opportunity to present special awards to three legends – Elize Vermeulen, Tebogo William Sitole and Betsie Badenhorst. Sitole is a social worker by profession and was lauded for his humble soul and dedicating much of his time to the upliftment of youth in his community. Having himself been an avid boxer in his day, representing his province as a boxer, a referee and judge, he was awarded a lifetime presidency award by the Northern Cape Boxing Organisation. Although Sitole retired, he continues to follow and support boxing in the township.Betsie Badenhorst started playing netball in 1977 and district and provincial representation characterised her illustrious career. Not only has she obtained her qualifications as a level-one coach, but she also officiated as a graded umpire.She retired as a coach and diverted her energy to coaching at primary and secondary schools, as well as club netball, spending eight years as head coach at Kumba.Badenhorst is still active within the provincial structures, having served in previous portfolios as vice-president of the Griqualand West Netball Union.She now occupies the position as manager of the Brutal Fruit Diamonds, and director of the selections.Elize Vermeulen, affectionately known as Ouma Elize, started playing netball at primary school level and continued to actively compete until the age of 42. Although she herself has never achieved provincial colours as a player, she has represented the Northern Cape as head coach of the Griqualand West u.21 teams and the Griqualand West B team.Having officially stepped down as district chairperson in 2018 – a position she held for five years – Vermeulen will be remembered for her work in promoting netball, particularly in disadvantaged areas such as Groenwater and the Kakamas area.