The Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr. Fikile Mbalula, officially announced the nominees for the 2013 SA Sports Awards. They were selected by an adjudication panel comprising of sporting personalities, organisations and teams. Each federation submitted their preferred candidates, and the panel was tasked to narrowing it down to only three candidates per category.
As expected the announcement received extensive attention, unfortunately not for favourable reasons. The obvious omission of South Africa’s only cyclist to have worn the coveted yellow jersey in the Tour de France – Daryl Impey.
To illustrate the significance of a yellow jersey, in case Cycling is not your cup of tea, basically it’s (almost) like winning a Soccer World Cup.
He took to Twitter (as you do) to express his disappointment:
“It’s like I said before, Cycling in SA is not a major sport and will never get the recognition it deserves”
To say 2013 has not been an easy one for Athletes South Africa would possibly deserve ‘the understatement of the century’ award. Yet, Johan Cronje somehow defied those odds to not only break the national record in 1.500 twice, but was the Rainbow Nation’s sole medalist at the world athletics championships in Moscow. He did not get the nod, either.
Mountain-biking diehards are outrage because Greg Minnaar, the reigning downhill racing world champion’s name is also left off the list.
Instead, Swimming South Africa is in line to win ‘Federation of the Year’ trophy. Um, have we forgotten what happened in Port Elizabeth in April? When a green pool interrupted World Championship qualifiers? Athletes paying for themselves, while others have threatened to walk away completely?
It’s not all gloom, however, as many deserving sportsmen have been acknowledged.
Personally I’m excited for Hashim Amla, Chad Le Clos and Lucas Sithole (Sports Star of the Year); Itumeleng Khune and Cameron vd Burgh (Sportsman of the Year); Coach of the year for Graham Hill who lost out to Banyana Banyana’s Joseph Mkhonza last year.
Mapaseka Makhanya who is the only female vying for Sports Star of the Year award, is also included in Sportswoman of the Year category.
True to his (Mbalula) grassroots level cause, Developing School Team of the Year and School team of the Year are on the list of categories.
Here’s the full list:
As provided by SA Sports Awards Online
Winners will be announced on 17 November 2013. Details on how to vote for Sports Star of the Year HERE