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- Van Niekerk pays tribute to triumphant Bolt
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Pasio pedals her way to leading sporting award
- Updated: November 26, 2014
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist cyclist Ashleigh Pasio has been crowned SPAR gsport Athlete of the Year in Johannesburg. She fought off stiff competition from World Canoe sprint bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley, and inspirational national netball captain Maryka Holtzhausen, to win the coveted trophy at the 2014 SPAR gsport Awards.
Pasio has been South Africa’s top-ranked women’s road cyclist for the last three years, currently ranked in the top 30 in the world. Her ambition is to achieve a top-five world ranking by 2016, to win a World Cup race and to achieve a medal, preferably gold, at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
In an honour deserving of the moment, SASOL Banyana Banyana stalwart Portia Modise received the gsport Special Recognition Award for becoming the first South African footballer – male or female, to score 100 international goals. Modise is the most capped player for Banyana Banyana with 114 caps, having made her national debut at the age of 15.
￼In the further two key athlete categories, Tuks and SPAR Proteas shooter Lenize Potgieter was named gsport Up and Coming Athlete of the Year, while 2014 UCI World para-cycling champion in the time trial and road race, Justine Asher was crowned gsport Athlete of the Year with Disability.
SPAR Proteas netball star Zanele Mdodana won the public vote when she earned the most votes at the gsport website, beating off former Style Star winner Shashi Naidoo and Hartley to win the gsport Style Star of the Year award.
Mdodana becomes the first sports woman to win the Style award, a category previously dominated by celebrities.
Footballer-turned-administrator Pearl Mosoane was honoured for her promotion of women’s football development when she won the gsport Woman of the Year award, beating off strong competition from Discovery Sports Heroes Walk founder, Cynthia Tshaka, and Netball South Africa President, Mimi Mthethwa.
In the gsport Woman in Media category, Daily Sun sports reporter Busisiwe Mokwena was the judge’s choice in a category also including SABC Sport Radio and TV presenter Romy Titus and Phalaphala sports commentator Thina Ramantswana.
In the newly-launched Social Media Star of the Year category, women’s sports crusader Ntando Stemmet overcame stiff competition from @BBallMagSA founder Lungi Mchunu and the SASOL Banyana Banyana team to win the Award’s inaugural honours.
Bowls South Africa was honoured for its role in raising the profile of women’s bowls, following the women’s team’s golden showing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Of the seven medals won by the bowls team in Glasgow, the women’s team accounted for two gold medals and two bronze medals, with Tracy-Lee Botha finishing the event as the most successful SA women athlete in Glasgow, featuring in the double gold success in the Fours and the Pairs.
The gsport Sponsor of the Year award was presented to Airports Company South Africa for its loyal support of wheelchair tennis in South Africa since 2005. Over the years, ACSA has ensured strong support for development of the sport, especially among women, ensuring that stars likes Mariska Venter and KG Montjane get to perform at their best on the world stage.
One of the biggest cheers of the morning was reserved for sports broadcasting pioneer, and the first woman anchor on SuperSport, Tinky Pringle, who was inducted into the gsport Hall of Fame, for paving the way for young women in the industry.
Having kicked off her career at the SABC, Pringle spent 10 years with SuperSport covering live sport including football, tennis, rugby, Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, cricket and golf.
The 2014 SPAR gsport Awards Winners:
gsport Volunteer of the Year: Khweshy Dubula
gsport Sports Federation of the Year: Bowls South Africa
gsport Sponsor of the Year: Airports Company South Africa
gsport Special Recognition Award Portia Modise
gsport Style Star: Zanele Mdodana
gsport Social Media: Star Ntando Stemmet
gsport Woman in Media: Busisiwe Mokwena
gsport Woman of the Year: Pearl Mosoane
gsport Coach of the Year: Hilton Moreeng
gsport Up and Coming Athlete of the Year: Lenize Potgieter
gsport Athlete of the Year with Disability: Justine Asher
SPAR gsport Athlete of the Year: Ashleigh Moolman Pasio
2014 gsport Hall of Fame Inductee: Tinky Pringle