Swimmers came up big at the 13th annual South Africa Sports Awards, sponsored by the national department of Sport and Recreation South Africa.
Olympic gold medalist Chad le Clos was named the Sportsman of the Year, while Tatjana Schoenmaker was named Newcomer of the Year.
This is the 4th time a swimmers has won Sportsman of the Year, and Le Clos’ 2nd award, after he previously won in 2014. He becomes the 2nd swimmer to win multiple Sportsperson of the Year awards, after Natalie du Toit won in 2005 and 2008.
The 4 Sportsman of the Year awards won by swimmers now matches Athletics as the most by any one sport.
Le Clos’ 2018 award came after winning 3 individual gold medals, sweeping the butterfly events, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He also took silver in the 100 free and bronze as part of South Africa’s 400 medley relay.
Swimmers Winning South Africa Sportsperson of the Year:
- 2004 – Roland Schoeman (Sportsman)
- 2005 – Natalie du Toit (Sportswoman)
- 2008 – Natalie du Toit (Sportswoman)
- 2013 – Cameron van der Burgh (Sportsman)
- 2014 – Chad le Clos (Sportsman)
- 2018 – Chad le Clos (Sportsman)
The 21-year old Schoenmaker, meanwhile, won Newcomer of the Year after winning both the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games. Her eruption was a welcome presence for swimming in South Africa after they had 11 men and 0 women earn qualifying standards for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. A year later, she made the World Championship team, and in 2018 she had a pair of gold medals at the country’s top-tier meet.
27-year old middle distance runner Caster Seimenya won Sportswoman of the Year for the 3rd straight year and 4th overall after winning African Championships in the 400 and 800 meter runs and Commonwealth Games championships in the 800 and 1500 meter runs.
Full list of 2018 South Africa Sports Awards Winners:
- People’s Choice Sports Star of the Year – Caster Semenya, Athletics
- Sports Administrator of the Year – Virginia Mabaso
- Sportsman of the Year – Chad Le Clos, Swimming
- Sportsman of the Year with a Disability – Ndodomzi Jonathan Ntutu, Athletics
- Sportswoman of the Year – Caster Semenya, Athletics
- Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability – Anrune Liebenberg, Athletics
- Team of the Year – Banyana Banyana, Women’s soccer
- Newcomer of the Year – Tatjana Schoenmaker, Swimming
- Coach of the Year – Samuel Sepeng, Athletics
- Volunteer of the Year – Linda Hlophe
- Indigenous Games Team of the Year – Morabaraba Team
- National Federation of the Year – Softball
- The Recreation Body of the Year – Mavu Sport Development
- Photographer of the Year – Steve Haag
- Sports Journalist of the Year – Mohono Matshidisi
- School Team of the Year – St. Benedict’s College
- Developing School Team of the Year – Machakela-Mamodibo Secondary School
- Sports Star of the Year – Caster Semenya, Athletics