26 Aug 2017 – Another night on the calendar for some but for women in sport, this date marks the most prestigious award ceremony of the year – The Gsport Awards! The coming together of powerful women to recognize each other for their achievements in their various sporting roles. All dressed up and ready to go we descended onto Melrose Arch, The Venue, to be specific. Upon arrival we were greeted by the event staff for registration before hitting the Red Carpet.
With the awards having grown and gaining recognition themselves the evening was to be broadcast on SABC2 and covered by various print and online media too. You can imagine then that the Red Carpet was abuzz with live tv cameras, interviews and flash photography. Many a Woman’s Dream, yes even us sporty woman too, feeling fabulous, receiving all the fuss and celebration of arrival.
Once inside, the caliber of woman sharing the evening was awe inspiring. From sporting stalwarts to seasoned professionals to the up and coming younger generation.
Our (JvW) two nominees for the evening were Lauren Duncan for Woman of the Year and Amanda Dlamini for Style Star of the Year. All seated, the evening was handed over to the SABC producers and away we went on a trip opened by the ever welcoming, event principal Kass Naidoo.
It was evident from that first welcoming as to how far we as women have come in sport over the time of Gsport awards. Mention was made of the ever increasing number of women involved in and achieving in sport, this was also easily seen in the number of honored guests nominated and attending. In the Woman of the Year category JVW Project Manager and SA Womens National Team Manager, Lauren Duncan was nominated alongside Michelle Joubert and Mpho Mokhoba, two hard working women of hockey and tennis respectively. When Mpho was named woman of the year the crowd went wild and cheered, not only respected by those in her own sporting code but across codes and with grace in her acceptance speech she acknowledge her fellow nominees for their tireless efforts in women’s sport. A few moments later we came to Style Star of the year.
Here, JVW and Banyana Banyana Midfielder, not forgetting Supersport Analyst, Amanda Dlamini was nominated alongside dirt bike rider Dyna Nienaber and Tv host and journalist Vaylen Kirtley. Amanda having received the most votes won her category, however, received her award in abstensia due to work commitments.
Upon receiving the award, Amanda had the following to share: What do you think of the Style star award … A. The style star award seems to be an underestimated award but it speaks volumes. It’s about respecting your craft and looking the part. Where does your dress sense and passion for your work come from..? A. I think I took after my mom. She loves looking the part and was very passionate about her job but of course I love looking good and feeling comfortable.
But this award has reaffirmed that comfort is the best label on your body and that working hard is an inspiration to others. We thought after the Style Star award the evening was over for our two awesome ladies but then the People’s Choice was announced and to her own surprise Lauren was nominated and crowned winner in this category.
Fittingly the award was handed over by none other than the people’s champ Caroline Wöstman, a woman who similarly to Lauren, is a mum, a partner and a phenom in her sporting code. On receiving the people’s choice award Lauren paid tribute to all those involved in the upliftment and recognition of women in sport, a reminder that together everyone achieves more. The essence of a team and the essence of the powerful women in sport. What an amazing experience to share with my colleagues. You ladies are both deserved winners and great examples to women around the country. A big thanks to Kass and Ryk for always endeavoring to uplift South African women and of course to the sponsors involved in the event. May your kind contributions continue over the next 365 days and beyond. – Ciara Picco, JVW First Coach