The prestigious SuperSport Let’s Play Sports Star of the Year Awards for Bloemfontein were held on Friday (16/11) at the Windmill Casino Conference Centre. At this annual event the jewels in sport are crowned for their excellent form during the year in question. The 2018 edition of the ceremony continued the tradition of rewarding future stars. Each of the nine finalists were each presented certificates, recognising excellence in their respective sporting codes. The finalists were monthly winners of 2018. Each monthly winner received a prize and thus qualified for the major prize of SuperSport Let’s Play Sports Star of the Year.First and second places were awarded for each of the newspaper partners – Expressand Bloemnews. Spec-Savers and Execuspecs came on board by sponsoring two R2 000 Police Sunglasses coupons for the winners, as well as a two R500 gift coupons. The SuperSport Let’s Play Sports Star of the Year for Express accolade went to a candidate who had performed in badminton and hockey, Caden Kakora (15). He was duly chosen for achievements in his sport of choice, badminton, in which he had performed exceptionally. He also did well as a team player in his second-choice sporting code, hockey, during 2018. However, it is in badminton that Caden had showed he has great potential to excel and to attain even more in future. Testimony is achievements he had reached as the youngest contender in a series of badminton competitions. He had scooped bronze, silver and gold medals in different categories in 2018. Caden’s consistent performance has seen him surpass even opponents senior to him in age at provincial and national championships, u.17 and u.19. He won bronze and silver medals in singles and doubles at the u.17 South African championship. He won silver in singles and gold in doubles at the Alberton u.17 open championship. He was selected for the u.19 Free State team that won two gold medals, at the closed championship, and South African championship. Caden is a top-rated badminton junior player in the Free State and in South Africa. He currently ranks number 2 in South Africa in the u.17 category.The second place winner is footballer Tshepang Tshabalala (18). He was acknowledged due to his achievements and for making tremendous strides in football. He had obtained accolades in regional competitions. Representing his team, the Bochabela Warriors, Tshepang had participated in competitions at regional level. He was the club’s top goal-scorer, scoring 20 goals in all competitions. These competitions include the Interstate Bus Lines (IBL) Promotion League and IBL Top 8 Championship played under the auspices of the South African Football Association (Safa). He had helped his team to gain promotion to the SAB League, which is the third-tier league to South Africa’s professional league. The youngster had won a silver medal with his team in the IBL Promotion League promotion play-offs and won bronze in the IBL top 8 championship. Due to his consistent performance and talent he was subsequently selected for an international trial programme, the Grand Skills, held at the Bolton Wanderers International Soccer School, in Manchester, England. The international talent skills development programme features football talents from all over the world and they showcase their talent over ten days.