SA Sport Awards 2015
Just one week away from the most prestigious event on the South African sporting calendar, the nominees for the coveted Sport Star of the Year have been announced. This year, the nomination and voting process has been left to the critical eye of sport journalists. Previously, this category was open to the public to vote for their favourite nominee, but saw criticism by the public as to how the nominees were selected. Changing the game slightly, the public are still able to vote for their favourite in the People’s Choice of the Year category.
“In the past, voting was left to the public, where at times, performance may have been over-ridden by sentiment. But now, the nomination and voting of the Sport Star of the Year is done by the editors of different media houses, who spend their time following and monitoring these athletes’ performance and general conduct.” says Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation.
The nomination process included each journalist nominating two athletes and submitting a 200-word motivation on the performance of each of their chosen athletes. A voting process, adjudicated by a panel of sports editors, will finalise the shortlist and eventually come up with one athlete who will be named the Sports Star of the Year 2015.
Journalists will use the following criteria to vote for their favourite sport star:
- The athlete or player would have produced a world-class performance on a national, continental and global arena; during the Awards qualifying period;
- Continuously set world records;
- Displayed reasonable code of conduct;
- Conformed and complied with all applicable ethical conduct within the sporting code of choice;
- The athlete / player must be South African citizen;
- Competed in the Republic of South Africaduring the Awards qualifying period; and
- The athlete or player can be male or female or an athlete or player with a disability.
The Nominees are:
- Wayde van Niekerk – Currently holds the record as the first athlete in Africa to run 400m under 44 seconds. He is a 2014 Commonwealth games silver-medallist and represented South Africa at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Athletics.
- AB de Villiers – This reigning South African cricketer of the year has been a stand out performer for the past 5 years and is the number one ranking ODI batsman. He won five awards at the CSA Annual Awards banquet and led the Proteas to the World Cup semi-finals.
- Chad le Clos – The 2014 FINA/Master Bank Swimmer of the competition, winner of four gold medals, 3 New Championship Records and one New World Record and crowned the best swimmer of 2014 and FINA Best Athlete of the Year. Chad has displayed staying power and consistency through stiff competition – the mark of a champion.
- Cameron van der Burgh – One of the top swimmers in the world with a string of gold medals to prove it, including a gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the Doha leg Fina/ Airweave Swimming World Cup, two gold medals in Fina World Cup series in Moscow, gold and silver medals in the men’s 50m and 200m at the Beijing leg of Fina World Cup and at the 11th All Africa Games in Brazzaville, won the 50m breaststroke.
- Caroline Wostmann – The first South African to win both the Comrades and Two Oceans Marathon in the same year. There has been a lot of emphasis on Ethiopians Kenyans winning ultra-marathons, but Wostmann has shown that South Africans can compete on the highest stages. She is the first South African to win since 1998.
- Kevin Anderson – One of the most exciting South African tennis players in a long time. He became the top-ranked male South African player in 2008 after making the final at the 2008 Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas. In 2015, he reached the quarter finals of the US open, the 4th round of the Australia Open and Wimbledon. Anderson has also been nominated as one of the 15 top players on the ATP tour for this last year.
Aside from the award itself, the winner will walk away with a a luxury vehicle as well as R1 million in prize money, half of which goes to charity.
The Awards will take place on Sunday 22 November 2015 in Mangaung and will be broadcast live on SABC 1 at 20:00.