The winners for the RASA 2018 have finally been announced at the prestigious event held at Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg in South Africa.
Amongst the surprises of the night was Karabo Sibanda from Botswana winning the Sportsperson of the Year Awards which has in the past been dominated by the South Africans, in the first editing of RASA in 2016 it was won by Wayde van Niekerk and in 2017 won by Caster Semenya.
Stanley Mutoya, AUSC CEO says that it has been a long journey to get to a point where we see the event taking place and he is happy to see a smile on the faces of deserving athletes. He said we need to celebrate our athletes and their achievements. “The highlight of the 2018 edition is the move of the Sportsperson of the Year Awards to Botswana, this for me indicates the growth of the awards. We still need to work more to get our sport at the level we want it to be. Our sport administrators need to do a little bit more to give conducive conditions for our athletes to perform at the levels we expect. With this growth of the RASA brand, the Region has made a bold statement that it will not celebrate mediocrity. As a leading home of excellence and innovation, the RASA becomes the nexus for accelerated motivation and heightened inspiration for all sports players within the territory. “We hope that the event next year will be even bigger than this year’s edition as RASA sets the pace and defines regional integration, celebrates sports gallantry and recognizes meritorious sporting feats by our sportspersons,” says Mutoya.
Affirming the relevance of hosting RASA2018 during Africa month, Minister of Sport and Recreation, Ms. Tokozile Xasa, reminded the audience present that: “As we celebrate Africa month, we remember that we owe our freedom as South Africans to the generosity of people of this continent Africa, in particular this region. Tonight, Sportsmen and women are recognised in categories of the awards premised upon a reflection of our African heritage and Pan-Africanism.”
This year’s RASA event, saw dignitaries from the 10-member states of African Union Sports Council Region 5 be part of an award ceremony which epitomised the celebrations of the Mandela Centenary and the legacy left by Mandela in sport. “The spirit of Madibaness” – the Madiba Magic Moments personified through our sports stars’ excellent performance whilst also uniting our continent along the way, was celebrated fully. Key to these celebrations war recognising the achievements of our African athletes who through their sporting performances zealously showcased qualities personifying Madiba’s values of Courage, Hope, Inspiration, Triumph especially in the face of adversity and despair.
WINNERS OF RASA 2018
JUNIOR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: Karabo Sibanda, Athletics,Botswana
JUNIOR SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR: Tanyaradzwa Muzinda,Motorcross, Zimbabwe
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: Luvo Manyonga, Athletics, South Africa
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR: Caster Semenya, Athletics, South Africa
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR WITH A DISABILITY: Elford Moyo, Wheelchair racing, Zimbabwe
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR WITH A DISABILITY: Illse Hayes, Athletics, South Africa
SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR: Zambia Football U20 National Team, Football, Zambia
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jean Verster, Athletics, South Africa
JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR: OG Molefe, South Africa
SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR: Karabo Sibanda, Athletics Botswana
CONFEDERATION OF THE YEAR: Athletics Confederation
AUSC REGION 5 AWARD: Botswana