Sports Awards: Goats everywhere you look


Siya Kolisi is not only South Africa’s sports star of the year, the Bok captain is also a fans’ favourite.

The Rugby World Cup champions picked up six awards during the 17th South African Sports Awards event in the Superbowl at Sun City. SA Rugby (Saru) received two awards.

The Springboks were named team of the year, while Boxing lock Eben Etzebeth was named sportsman of the year.

Kolisi is in Paris, France, and Etzebeth was on her way back from London. They could not attend the grand event themselves.

Teammates Marco van Staden and Malcolm Marx accepted the trophy on their behalf.

Manie Libbok, the Boks’ flyhalf, walked away with the trophy as rookie of the year.

Jacques Nienaber’s award as coach of the year was SA Rugby’s icing on the cake.

Mark Alexander, president of Saru, was awarded the sports administrator of the year award, while the union was also named national federation of the year.

The eight awards are an improvement on rugby’s previous best performance (five awards in 2022) and, according to Saru, are quite possibly the most that a single sport has received in the 17-year history of the awards.

“We have great appreciation for the honor that the judges and South Africans have given to our sport,” says Rian Oberholzer, chief executive of Saru.

“Rugby has worked hard over a long time to reach this point and we are now in the fortunate position of enjoying a golden era. The awards are a reward for all that hard work, dedication and drive that is poured into the sport on a daily basis at every level: from the school field to the provincial unions and of course at Springbok level.

“Individuals receive these trophies on the night, but I hope everyone involved in rugby knows that these are also their awards. This is a wonderful opportunity for our sport, about which we are also very humble.”

The title as sportswoman of the year went to Kirsten Neuschäfer. She was also named World Sailing’s female sailor of the year in November.

The athletes Mpumelelo Mhlongo and Simoné Kruger were also called to the stage where they respectively held up the award for paraplegic athletes.