Khune a worthy ambassador
North West Premier Thandi Modise has praised Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper and Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune as a role model whose success should inspire young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue their dreams.
South Africa’s number one goalkeeper, who hails from Tshing township near Ventersdorp in the North West, scooped the Sports Star of the Year award at the 2013 SA Sports Awards ceremony held at the Sun City Superbowl on Sunday evening.
He walked away with a brand new BMW 1 series and R1 million, half of which he will donate to Lechelemane Primary School.
“We are proud of Khune as a worthy ambassador, who overcame adversity to reach the pinnacle of his soccer career. Botlhale Boikanyo and Khuli Chana’s electrifying performances at the awards evening testified of our province as the home of excellence in arts,” said Modise.
The premier said that Sol Plaatjie High School also lived up to its eponym, Sol Thekisho Plaatje by winning the School Team of the Year.
Mapaseka Makhanya, who was also the only woman in the running for the Sports Star of the Year nominee, won the Sportswoman of the Year ahead of golfer Lee-Anne Pace and Springbok Women's captain Mandisa Williams.
Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh emerged victorious in the Sportsman of the Year category. He is Africa's first home-trained world record holder and individual male Olympic Champion.
The Sportswoman with Disability and Sportsman with Disability Awards went to Kgothatso Montjane and Lucas Sithole respectively.
The Proteas won the Team of the year, beating the Springboks and Kaizer Chiefs FC.
Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula lauded the nominees and the winners, saying it has been “a great sporting year for our sportsmen and women both locally and internationally”.
“We have bravely said during the course of the year, yours is to inspire a generation. Tonight, we proudly rolled out the red carpet for the champions. We are not apologetic about rewarding our heroes, this is about the athletes. No athlete should go home with nothing to show for his achievement,” said Mbalula.
All nominees went home with R15 000 each, while winners for each category pocketed R130 000.
The Premier Soccer League’s Dr Leepile Taunyane, who passed away recently, was posthumously awarded the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. Other recipients of the award were Betty Magwaza, Hajera Kajee, Mvuzo Mbebe and Kaizer Motaung.
Modise presented the Coach of the Year category nominations, which was scooped by Wheelchair Tennis South Africa coach Holger Losch. – SAnews.gov.za