Last year, some unfamiliar names made it into the hats but this time, the Ministry of Sport and its Adjudication Committee did well.
With only four weeks remaining before the grand finale on November 4 at Sandton Convention Center, sports personalities, fans, administrators, hangers-on and of course, athletes came in large numbers to witness those who made the cut!
All in all, the SASA 17 categories were confirmed but it would boil down to one thing: who will walk away with the glamorous prize tag of R1m and a BMW 3- series?
Yes, this year’s purse has been increased to a whopping R3,7m according to Fikile Mbalula, the National Sport and Recreation Minister, last night.
“We do not support mediocrity or plastic athletes,” he said much to the roaring applause from the guests.
“These awards are meant to encourage our young boys and girls that, when they excel in their respective sporting fields, they would be rewarded. Not by color but on merit.”
“Sport contributes millions into the GDP of the country, yet it has taken a while to recognise these athletes, why is that?” he asked.
Music, business, arts, and entertainment awards have been held but sport recognition in this country has been some-what left in the cold. From now onwards that has changed whether I’m still the Minister of this portfolio or not,” says “Mbaks” in a strong worded address.
All the nominees walk away with R15 000 each.
Here we go:
Sports Star of the Year: Hashim Amla (Cricket); Natalie du Toit (Swimming); Oscar Pistorius (Athletics); Chad le Clos (Swimming); Vernon Philander (Cricket); Siyabonga Nomvete (Soccer); Caster Semenya (Athletics)
Sportsman of the Year: Chad le Clos (Swimming); Cameron van der Burg (Swimming); Vernon Philander (Cricket); Hashim Amla (Cricket); Siyabonga Nomvete (Football.
Sportswoman of the Year: Marsha Marescia (Hockey); Caster Semenya (Athletics); Bridgette Hartley (Canoeing); Chantelle Doddermeade (Judo); Portia Modish (Football).
Coach of the Year: Gary Kirsten (Cricket); Joseph Mkhonza (Football); Allister Coetzee (Rugby); Graham Hill (Swimming); Gordon Igusend (Football)
Sportswoman of the Year with Disability: Natalie du Toit (Swimming); Kgothatso Montjane (Tennis); Isle Hayes (Athletics); Zandile Nhlapo (Athlete); IIise Carstens (Athlete).
Sportsman of the Year with Disability: Oscar Pistorius (Athletics); Charl Bouwer (Swimming); Samkelo Radebe (Athletics); Lucas Sithole (Wheelchair Tennis); Arno Fourie (Athletics).
Federation of the Year: Swimming South Africa; Rowing South Africa and South African Hockey Association.
Team of the Year: Rowing (Men’s Lightweight 4); The Proteas and Swimming (London 2012 Olympic Team); Orlando Pirate FC; Banyana Banyana
Administrator of the Year: Dr. Debbie Alexander (Triathlon); Wimpie du Plessis (Rowing); Dr. Kgotso Ncholo (Softball).
Newcomer of the Year: Michelle Webber (Swimming); Richard Murray (Triathlon); Siya Kolisi(Rugby).
Volunteer of the Year: Sondiso Magajana (Judo); Laetitia Goldman (Hockey); Elias Mpende (Boxing).
Developing School Team of the Year: Nkunzimbini Junior Secondary School (Football); Ithembelihle High School (Rugby); Letsetse Intermediate School (Football).
School Team of the Year: Nkunzimbini Junior Secondary School (Football); Eastern Cape Girls School (Rowing); Ithembelihle High School (Rugby)
Indigenous Games Team of the Year: Team KZN (All Disciplines); Eastern Cape Khokho (Khokho); KZN Inqathu (Inqathu)
Journalist of the Year: Velile Mbuli; Lelo Mzaca and David Issacson
Photographer of the Year: Reg Caldecott; Etienne Rothbart and Sydney Seshibedi.
Recreation Body of the Year: Age in Action (Wellness); Traditional Horse Racing (Equestrian); Vakhegula (Vakhegula Football)
The public will exercise their right by voting for Sports Star of the Year category on 33617, and the person who votes frequently stand a chance to win a BMW 1-series.
The R3,7m is a tenfold increase in prize money from last year’s awards.
Although organisers have not yet confirmed the line up of artists expected at the grand finale, one thing though remains ‘razzmatazz’ is a guarantee!