Nominees from various sporting codes and administrations were announced recently ahead of the annual Eastern Cape Sport and Recreation Achievers Awards in East London.
Currently in its 22nd year, the awards will honour and recognise individuals, federations and teams who have excelled both on and off the field between for the period of June 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.
Department of sport, recreation, arts and culture (Dsrac) MEC Fezeka Bayeni said there were 115 nomination in 25 categories, as well as the MEC Excellence Awards.
“The Excellence Awards are discretionary and no nominations were put forth for this category. I have tried to look at all sports people across the province,” Bayeni said.
She noted that the department has tried to be inclusive of every category.
Categories include Sport Team of the Year for Persons with Disability, Newcomer of the Year and Coach of the Year, to name but a few.
Among the nominees for the School Team of the Year is Hudson Park High School.
Two women from Buffalo City Metro (BCM) – Nopandle Mhlauli and Zizo Papu – are finalists for the Volunteer of the Year category.
Mhlauli, a retired teacher and a provincial trainer of indigenous games for the eight districts, is happy about the nomination.
“I am humbled, excited, motivated and happy that people recognise my contribution. It’s immaterial if I win or not, it’s about the recognition,” she said.
Papu is the current general secretary for the SA Handball Federation and has volunteered with the establishment of handball in 16 schools and clubs in the province.
“It means so much to me to be recognised for something that I have passion for. I am yet to find the right words to express my feelings that come with this nomination,” she said.
The awards, previously held in Port Elizabeth, moved to East London in the hopes of fostering partnerships with other sectors.
The awards will take place at the East London International Convention Centre on August 30.