Message Of Goodwill To Region 5 Athletes Participating In The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games
29th July 2022
REGION 5 HOSTS INCLUSION CONFERENCE
7th June 2024
Message Of Goodwill To Region 5 Athletes Participating In The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games
29th July 2022
REGION 5 HOSTS INCLUSION CONFERENCE
7th June 2024

The Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA) honour African excellence in sports throughout the Region. Sportsmen and sportswomen receive regional distinction for their outstanding athletic achievement. After a four-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA) have returned for their 5th edition in Eswatini. The first three editions were held in South Africa, while the fourth were held in Namibia in 2019. The Awards were hosted after a three-year COVID-19 induced sabbatical due to the decimation of sport and all economic activities owing to a lockdown and movement restrictions to save lives and livelihoods. 

The Awards, therefore, were a bold statement of intent by Region 5 Member Countries in collaboration with the sports movement that sport is resilient. 


RASA was successfully hosted in Eswatini on June 24th at Esibayeni Lodge Matsapha, a few kilometres from Manzini.  It was a night of flash and glam, with the red carpet brimming with nominees dressed to the nines and representatives from various member countries. Honourable Uchizi Mkandawire (MP), Malawi Minister of Youth and Sport, Honourable Members of the AUSC Region 5 Council of Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, Members of Parliament of Eswatini, the Chiefs’ Council and traditional leaders in Eswatini, and many more dignitaries were in attendance.

There were 12 categories of the Awards which included, Sportsman of the Year, Sportsman of the Year with a Disability, Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year, Coach of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Junior Male Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Team of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year. Others were Sportswoman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability, Confederation of the Year, and Country of the Year.

Preceding the Awards Ceremony, a dinner was hosted at which Region 5 awarded 10-year service awards to individuals who have worked tirelessly and contributed to the success of the Region over the last decade.

Mr Darius Dlomo, CEO of the Eswatini Sports and Recreational Council, hosted the award event, and Mr Stanley Mutoya, CEO of AUSC Region 5, presented the awards. Honourable Harries Bulunga, Eswatini’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, was called to the podium to greet the invited guests, dignitaries, and nominees. In his remarks, he praised the AUSC Region 5 office for its efforts to encourage athletes to achieve excellence, which goes beyond winning medals and breaking records and involves bringing change and improving nations through sports. He went on to say that Eswatini is overjoyed to host the first post-Covid RASA awards. “Please accept my heartfelt congratulations to the nominees and winners of the 2023 Regional Annual Sports Awards.” As he exited the stage, he stated, “You are our enviable and priceless treasures, our heroes and heroines.”

Mr Isaac Katopola, chairperson of the AUSC Region 5 Board of Advisers, made brief remarks, emphasizing to the nominees that the Awards were not the end triumph on their achievement, but a chance to celebrate themselves and accomplish more on the global arena. “Let us all applaud and celebrate the collective achievements of the Region’s sportsmen and sportswomen who have been the impactful ambassadors of what our Region stands for and the epitome of the Africa we want,” he stated.

Beautiful performances and entertainment were provided by Eswatini performers Mduduzi Matse and Dance Troupe, Cultural Troupe, and Sivutsevutse. Namibia and Zambia were the most honored countries at the awards, winning three categories each. Judo was named Confederation of the Year, while Zambia was named Country of the Year. South Africa’s Andile Dlamini, who plays football, won the night’s most prestigious award, “Sportsperson of the Year.” The night of the awards came to an end with jubilations and amazing afro tech sounds ushering all nominees onto the stage for a group photo.