It was the night of glitz and glamour when the hard working, dedicated and record-breaking efforts of women in the country in various sporting codes were recognized on the 11th annual SPAR gsport awards on Saturday at The Venue in Melrose Arch.
The federation that never sleeps, Wheelchair Tennis South Africa, which has grown tremendously since its inception in 2005 was hugely recognized and named the country’s National Federation of the Year, with top junior Nokwanda Hlongwane clinching two awards and Paralympian Kg Montjane named Athlete of the Year with Disability.
South African world number two junior Nokwanda Hlongwane was the big winner taking home two awards. The 18-year-old won the Junior Athlete of the year and the newly introduced School Sports Star of the year.
“I dedicate these awards to all the young girls in the country, I want to remind each and every one of them that their dreams are achievable,” said Hlongwane.
“When I took up wheelchair tennis I never knew I will be this greatly honoured one day, all I did was to keep working hard. I am very grateful,” Hlongwane concluded.
Wheelchair Tennis continued to shine at the event when Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane, the country’s number one women’s wheelchair tennis ace was crowned Sportswoman of the Year with a disability for the second time. The 30-year-old is among the four wheelchair tennis players to represent South Africa at the forthcoming Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro starting from 7-18 September.
WTSA’s General Manager Karen Losch applauded the hard work of her team, “This award is in recognition of our hard working team, players, coaches, officials and referees,” she said.
“We are very proud of the two athletes, Nokwanda Hlongwane and Kg Montjane for once again showing the world that its possible. They have been working very hard and we are excited they were recognized at this prestigious event,” added Losch.
Losch also thanked the game sponsor Airports Company South Africa, saying it was through their generous sponsorship that the sport has grown to this point.