CENTRAL Gauteng Athletics (CGA) hosted its annual gala dinner at Gold Reef City Casino on November 26. The awards were in honour of the provincial technical officials, coaches, administrators and athletes who participated at various South African championships and represented South Africa internationally.
Two athletes from the South, Alyssa Conley and Armoure le Roux, were recipients of awards in their respective categories at the awards evening.
During his welcome address, CGA president James Moloi acknowledged the contribution and role played by the government, corporate sponsors and the media in growing athletics. He further wished all the nominees good luck, as they worked very hard during this Olympic year.
The occasion was attended and supported by the MMC of Community Development in the City of Joburg, Clr Nonhlanhla Sifumba and the president of Athletics South Africa, Aleck Skhosana. Both dignitaries delivered a touching message to the athletes and the guests present at the function.
Skhosana confirmed that CGA is one of the ASA provincial members, who have been consistent in delivering a huge number of athletes for the ASA teams. Sifumba delivered her keynote address covering the city’s support for sports structures; and she confirmed that the City has placed the sports facilities shortage on top of the priority list.
The dinner’s highlight however, was the giving out of the night’s most prestigious awards: the Presidential Lifetime and Senior Athlete of the Year awards. One of the Presidential Lifetime awards recipients, 91-year-old Cecily Rootenberg, still participates in race-walking and has broken her age-category records in the 10km race walking event.
Lebogang Shange has successfully defended his Senior Athlete of the Year award, as he also received the award in 2015. Alyssa Conley from Meredale was crowned the Woman Athlete of the Year 2016 and overall Athlete of the Year 2016. Her performances this year were outstanding, especially as she was returning from a long injury. In an interview, she thanked everyone who supported her when she was injured.
Winners are as follows:
Most Promising Junior Male: Derrick Mokaleng.
Most Promising Junior Woman: Armoure le Roux (Kibler Park).
Junior Male Athlete of 2016: Kabelo Melamu.
Junior Woman Athlete of 2016: Simonay Weitsz.
Senior Male Athlete of 2016: Lebogang Shange.
Senior Woman Athlete of 2016: Alyssa Conley (Meredale).
Presidential Lifetime awards: Joe Morris and Cecily Rootenberg.
Technical officials: Mehlo Mphafi, Bruce Mpela and Magdeline Hlabangane.
CGA Staff of the Year: Sarah Molete.
CGA Development Coach of the Year: Elvis Khoza.
Coach of the Year: Emmarie Fouche.