The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) MEC Bulelwa Tunyiswa has congratulated the Sport and Recreation Awards nominees that will be awarded at the Eastern Cape Sport and Recreation Achievers Awards gala event on 24 August 2018 in Boardwalk, Port Elizabeth.The awards ceremony will recognise and honor individuals, federations and teams who have excelled both on and off the field for the period 1st June 2017 to 30 June 2018 and this year's theme is "Be the Legacy – Celebrating the Participation.
Addressing members of the media during the state of readiness media briefing last week, MEC Tunyiswa highlighted that out of 25 categories, this year we received a record number of 175 nominations, with Sportswoman of the Year category leading with 20 nominations.
"As the DSRAC in the Province, we wish to congratulate all who have been nominated, in our eyes you all have won! You have raised the Province' flag very high through your determination, disciple, drive and unwavering focus!"
"We are also proud to have had an unwavering support from private business to make sure these awards are a success and they further meet our sport developmental goals. Standard Bank and the Boardwalk Casino in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro have been our strategic partners for 5 years now, a partnership we don't take for granted," said Tunyiswa.
Ms Bianca Zoonekynd, is one of the 20 nominees for Sportswoman of the year who has made it to top three finalist. This category requires a person who has produced a world class performance standard at an event or continually set world class standard in her sport code.
And certainly this can be said about Zoonekynd who according to South African Gymnastics Federation, is the first South African woman to be the Double Mini-Trampoline World Champion for Gymnastics, at the 2017 Trampoline World Championships in Bulgaria.
Another category that will be staged is the Presenter of the Year, a person who has shown special interest in covering sport news, programmes and activities of the Province with distinct. The individual should have assisted in advocating the benefits of participating in sport. Ms Akhona Makhalima is one of the three finalists who have been nominated as a suitable candidate for this category.
Upon hearing the news of her nomination, a humbled and down to earth Ms Makhalima is delighted and grateful that her work is been acknowledged. "Even though you think what you are doing is not noticed, it's very interesting and exciting to see that the work I am doing in advocating the message of sport for women is being recognised in the Province. There are lots of talented women in sport who are not noticed in the Eastern Cape and yet they are doing well, hence I want to profile them on media space, so that there are known since they will play as role models and mentors to upcoming young sports women," said Makhalima.
Akhona has been nominated as well for the Global Sport Mentoring Programme in the United States of America, which focuses in empowering women through sport. She will be leaving the country for the mentoring programme from 22 September 2018 to 1 November 2018.
The DSRAC is hosting the awards in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Sport Confederation.
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Mr Andile Nduna
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