South African women in sports were in the spotlight this week, at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg, for the gsport awards, as they were celebrated and acknowledged at a glitzy event in Johannesburg. Brand South Africa in collaboration with the Momentum gsport Awards, hosted the 17th edition of the Awards. More than 200 prestigious winners have been celebrated since inception. The gsport Awards, the brainchild of former sports presenter Kass Naidoo, are the leading national women’s sport recognition platform.
Fondly known as gsport for girls, a quick scan to the website (www.gsport.co.za); “Until 2006, South African women’s sport had virtually no public profile. The landscape changed in August 2006 with the launch of gsport4girls, an online initiative committed to daily coverage of women’s sport to bridge the gap with men’s sport. The gsport initiative has grown into a movement and the only 24/7 provider of women’s sports news and stories in South Africa”
Funded by Momentum, the awards are premised on three reasons;
- Men’s sport is well established, well-funded, and well-covered by the media.
- Women’s sport, by contrast, is mostly sustained by a dedicated volunteer base of participants and supporters, and rarely receives media coverage.
- It is about time that South African women’s outstanding contribution to sport, as participants and as facilitators, is recognised.
It is on this basis that the awards are seen as a beacon of hope for women in sport in South Africa. As one of the strategic partners, Brand South Africa believes that the awards are a perfect fit with the organisation’s mandate of managing the image and reputation of the country for global competitiveness.
The Acting CEO of Brand South Africa, Ms Sithembile Ntombela said, “one of the key factors contributing to the country’s global popularity, is its sports prowess. Our women in sports are just as renowned as the men, with names like Caster Semenya, Penny Heyns and many others, though largely underrated in South Africa, are some of the reasons we are globally admired”.
This year, more than twenty women received the prestigious awards. Brand South Africa had the privilege of presenting the ‘Para Sport Star of the Year’ award, which was given to Anrune Weyers, a two-time Paralympian and World Champion. The award is given to any South African Para athlete, who breaks records and dispels myths about people living with disability during the Year under Review (1 July 2021 to 9 August 2022).
“Brand South Africa is proud to be associated with the gsport awards, as it plays a big role in influencing positive perceptions about South Africa. It also showcases that as a democratic country, we acknowledge the role played by sports women living with disability just as much”, said Ms Ntombela.
Brand South Africa applauds all our women athletes for playing their part in flying the South African flag globally and for being the role models to the younger generation of young girls to reach for their dreams without fear.