The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape held their annual Sport Awards on Friday, 11th March 2016 at the Cape Sun Hotel. The Department celebrated the exemplary role that the Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Western Cape have played in their respective sporting codes.
It should be noted that the majority of the winners on the night came from our rural areas (West Coast, Eden District, Central Karoo, Overberg and the Cape Winelands) and I will therefore write to the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape, Anroux Marais, to encourage the Department to invest more in the rural areas, to continue to grow this talent pool.
A number of awards were handed out to athletes from all over the province and it was pleasing to note how well the rural areas has done despite the many challenges they face.
Some of the awards handed out include:
Indigenous Games Star of the Year
Junior Mphefu (Cape Winelands Drie Stokkies)
Developing School Team of the year
Graafwater Primary School Softball team (West Coast)
School Sportswoman of the year
Gezelle Magerman (Cape Winelands Athletics)
School Sportsman of the Year
Jodan Peter Duminy (Eden Golf)
Newcomer of the year
Shanique Loggenberg (Eden Cycling)
Journalist of the Year
Andre Stander (George Herald, Eden)
Photographer of the year
Francois Le Roux (Paarl Post, Cape Winelands)
The Department also celebrated the achievements of Track and Field athlete Wayde Vaniekerk as well as young cricketer Themba Bavuma who has been extremely successful with the Proteas in recent weeks. These two athletes play a huge role in inspiring the younger sporting enthusiasts in the different communities as well playing a critical role in bringing about social inclusion.
It was also pleasing to see the fastest Paralympian, Ilse Hayes receive an award. Women and disabled athletes often do not receive the same attention from corporate sponsors and as the DA we would like to call on corporate South Africa to invest in both women and disabled athletes with the same enthusiasm they do for their male and able bodied counterparts.
The Western Cape is a great sporting Province with world class sporting facilities and we hope to see more sport stars using the infrastructure and go on to represent not only the Western Cape but South Africa at the highest level particularly given that #Rio2016 Olympic Games is around the corner.
The DA would like to encourage the youth to seize all opportunities available to them and would also like to commend the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport on the important role they are playing to foster and nurture talent in the province. This again shows that where we govern, we endorse freedom, fairness and opportunity.