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Limpopo Province celebrates sporting Icons

By: Maano Nekhavhambe

Various dignitaries within the sporting fraternity gathered for a glittering annual Limpopo Province Sports Awards held at the Jack Botes Hall in Polokwane, Capricorn District, on Saturday 29 September 2018.



This year’s awards were orchestrated by the national Department of Sport and Recreation in partnership with Coca-Cola, Love Life and the National Lottery. They were celebrated under the theme, The year of Nelson Mandela: Advancing Transformation of South Africa’s Heritage Landscape.

The Purpose of the gathering was, amongst other things, to honour and recognise athletes and sports personalities who are flying the Limpopo Province flag high both nationally and globally.

Amongst other inspirational winners were Anna Ngobe, who walked away with the Sports Woman of the Year with Disability accolade and Ishmael Nkuna walking away with the Sports Man of the Year with Disability awards. Both athletes pocketed R50 000 each.

Notable winners in the MEC’s Excellence Awards includes Black Leopards FC following their triumph in the PSL/National First Division (NFD) relegation and promotion play-offs, in May 2018, and bounced back to the Absa Premiership for the on-going 2018/19 campaign.

Phuti Kgomo also walked away with the MEC’s Excellence accolade after making history of being the first ever Softball umpire from Limpopo Province to umpire at International level. He umpired during the Word Baseball Softball Junior Men’s Championship, held at Prince Albert, Canada in July 2018.

The ever green Mme Ria Ledwaba also made the cut on the MEC’s list. “The Godmother of the local game” as she is affectionately known was voted in as the first Woman Vice President of the South African Football Associations (SAFA) in the National Council meeting in June 2018.

The Provincial MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture Mme Thandi Moraka utilised this opportunity to emphasize the effect of transformation in sport for Africans and White people. “We must not have sports for the whites, we must also not have sports for Africans. Sports is and must always be a unifier of our society.” Moraka said

Moraka further expressed that she is well aware of the challenges experienced by athletes especially in rural areas. She has committed to the fact that the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture would work as a collective with the sporting fraternity to ensure ways of improving the quality of services to give to the athletes.

In the same breath, the MEC has urged the supporters of three Limpopo based Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams Black Leopards, Baroka FC and Polokwane City to always go in their numbers to rally behind the local teams as it is a historic season to have three teams, within the province, competing in the top flight football.

Here is the full list of winners:

1. Developing School Team of the Year: Hasani Mningisi (R20 000)

2. Indigenous Games Team of the Year: Ncuva Structure (R15 000)

3. School Team of the Year: Morwathebe Combined School (R20 000)

4. Recreation Body of the Year: Diketo Structure (R15 000)

5. Photographer of the Year: Lebohang Makwela (R15 000)

6. Volunteer of the Year: Bernard Boshomane (R15 000)

7. Newcomer of the Year: Lucas Lamola (R15 000)

8. Team of the Year: Limpopo Volleyball Junior Girls Team (R20 000)

9. Provincial Federation of the Year: Limpopo Softball Association(R20 000)

10. Sports Administrator of the Year: Moshailo Matsela (R20 000)

11. Journalist of the Year: Robert Mathye (R15 000)

12. Coach of the Year: Thabo Malokomme (R20 000)

13. Sports Man of the Year With Disability: Ishmael Nkuna (R50 000)

14. Sports Woman of the Year With Disability: Anna Ngobe (R50 000)

15. Sports Woman of the Year: Alice Matsela Motsai (R50 000)

16. Sports Man of the Year: Chris Moleya (R50 000)

MEC’s Excellence Awards

1. Phuti Kgomo

2. Cecelia Molokwane

3. Frans Mogashoa

4. Kenneth Neluvhalani

5. Mike Makhubela

6. Moses Ngobeni

7. Joe Mahomole

8. Kgothatso Montjane

9. Black Leopards Football Club

10. Ria Ledwaba