Rugby scores big at South African Sports Awards

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi Photo: NWU on Facebook

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi Photo: NWU on Facebook

Published May 8, 2024


SPRINGBOK Captain Siyamthanda “Siya” Kolisi was the star of the 17th edition of the South African Sports Awards (SASA), scooping up the coveted Sports Star of the Year and the People’s Choice Athlete of the year titles.

Kolisi was awarded the honour in absentia at a glitzy and glamorous ceremony attended by the country’s top athletes, administrators and organisations at the Sun City Superbowl in the North West on Sunday.

Rugby stole the night, sweeping up the majority of the awards, as the sports team of the year went to rugby, and the sportsman of the year award going to Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth, affectionately referred to as “Elizabedi” by his countrymen after he scored a try in the World Cup quarter-final.

The newcomer of the year was awarded to Springbok fly-half Manie Libbok, rugby union sports coach, Jacques Nienaber, walked away with the coach of the year, and the national Federation of the year award went to the South African Rugby Union.

The sports administrator of the year also went to SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.

Other winners include Olympic athlete Simone Kruger, awarded the sportswoman of the year with a disability, with the sportswoman of the year title going to South African sailor Kisten Neuschafer.

Springbok Fly-half Manie Libbok awarded the Newcomer of the Year Award at the 17th South African Sports Awards.

Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa, in celebrating and congratulating all the nominees and winners, advised the seventh incoming administration to work towards helping the country focus more on the development of school sports, for the country to have any hope of maintaining the gains made by the national sporting teams and sustaining the winning trajectory South Africa was currently on.

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa, alongside his deputy Nocawe Mafu at the 17th South African Sports Awards at SunCity, Northwest. Photograph: Goitsemang Matlhabe

Kodwa said his greatest wish was for South Africa to consider the sports minister as the most senior minister much like countries such as France and Russia which recognised the power sports had to build and unite a nation.

The minister added that although he and his deputy Nocawe Mafu could have done, they did what they could in the short span of time they spent in the leadership chair.

“I am quite happy with our achievement and we hope that as the term comes to an end, there will be no disruptions in terms of the work that has been done in recognising and making sure that we build school sports as the bedrock of our sport development.

“If we are to sustain the current trajectory as a winning nation, and keep these positive outcomes by our national teams we need to focus on school sports moving forward,” he added.