Gauteng Sport Awards are ready to rumble!

This was confirmed this morning by the MEC for Sport and Recreation in Gauteng Lebogang Maile and his ambitious office, at Emperors Palace, next to OR Tambo Airport.

Also pleasing was the fact that, the department is not resting on their laurels having roped in Telkom for a once-off year deal.

The media launch coincided with the nominees announcement, with new categories such as the Gold, Silver, Bronze and MEC’s Special Award, unveiled.

Telkom through the sponsorship manager Braam Wessels, said their commitment for the awards would only be for a year, thus open for review.

Asked what it meant, the unassuming Wessels in hardcore Afrikaans reiterated that:” Due to the marketing strategy review currently implemented by the company, we’ve have made a calling to review all other portfolios from swimming, soccer to Golf, in an effort to quantify their brand presence owing to tough economic conditions”.

“We will be consolidating our resources into focusing now on CSI initiatives, and swimming is also key part of that. We’re not ditching swimming but reviewing it, as has been speculated,” he retorted after being asked whether swimming will get the attention it deserves ahead of 2012 Olympic Games in London?

“We’ve made it clear to the MEC that we will focus on this year, however, we will engage further on  future involvement.”

The poignant Maile, who seemed unmoved also pointed out that, that was the case but were engaging with other potential funders to sign on dotted lines soon.

“Yes, as promised this year’s ceremony will be exciting, fun, bigger and far better. And to bear testimony to that, we’re talking about increasing the awards categories, which should also be in monetary value because our athletes do need money.”

We hope Telkom has opened a flood of gates for other sponsorships,” he said confidently.

Robert Marawa, Koena Moabelo, Benny McCarthy, Simphiwe Tshabalala, Lehlohonolo Majoro, just to mention the few have been identified as GSA Ambassadors.

Their key function would be to conscientious the public on the awards and what it means to them.

According to MEC theirs is to grow the awards to be inclusive and accomodate everyone hence, he would love to see them held at bigger venue.

Also at the briefing were two bright youngsters Preston Naidoo (soccer) and Caleb George (Golf) -having missed their school classes- who will be representing this country internationally in the form of Golf and Soccer, respectively.

On the suspect subject of AFCON 2013 to be hosted in SA, the MEC did allay the fears that Gauteng or JHB might pull out to host the tourney due to budget shortage.

“We’re having series of talks with both local and national government on how we can resolve this issue and map way forward. We’re ready to host and we will.”

This year’s 14 categories have been grouped into four are as follows:

GOLD Category

Sportsman of the Year,
Sportswoman of the Year,
Sport Team of the Year,
Disabled Sportswoman of the Year,
Disabled Sportsman od the Year,
Diasbled Sports Team of the Year.

 SILVER Category

Most Promising athlete of the Year,
Most Promising team of the Year,

BRONZE Category

Coach of the Year,
Technical of the Year,
Administrator of the Year,
Sport Journalist of the Year (print, radio and TV)

MEC’s Special Award

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sport Personality of the Year.

We hope the omission of both Online and Community awards will not be in vain, MEC!

Nominees are open to sport federations, clubs, sport councils and the public in Gauteng Province.

Nominations forms are available from www.gautengonline.gov.za or www.sarc.gpg.gov.za Nominations are now open to the public from yesterday untill May 22, 2012.

For further details and comprehensive nomination processes, call Thoko on 011 355-2638 or thoko.phuti@gauteng.gov.za or sportsawards@gauteng.gov.za



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