2018 RowSA awards winners.
RowSA Celebrates its 2018 Stars and Achievements
On 25 January Rowing South Africa (RowSA) celebrated its 2018 successes with the annual RowSA Awards hosted at the Victoria Lake Club. This night celebrated the 3rd edition of the prestigious awards which aims to recognise and celebrate all facets of the Federations – clubs, athletes, coaches, volunteers and administrators.
This year the awards committee received several nominations from all members of the Federation – school, juniors clubs, universities, senior clubs, provinces, constituent members – and after discussing all the nominees produced one of annual awards strongest set of finalists (for the full list of finalists click here).
Virginia Mabaso collected this year’s RowSA Administrator of the Year award, to add to her 2018 South African Sports Administrator of the Year Award, following her work in transformation and introducing rowing to all parts of South Africa.
This year saw the introduction of a new award, Rowing Personality of the Year, which saw members of the rowing community voting via social media for who they wanted to win. The inaugural winner of this year was Mpumi Geza who is the Head Coach of TuksRowing, a member of the University Sport South Africa – Rowing Executive Committee and a sub-elite coach within Rowing South Africa.
Coaching wise, this year World Junior Championship and Youth Olympic Games coach Thato Mokoena and U23 World Championship gold medal coach Marco Galeone were recognised as Junior and Sub-elite Coach[es] of the Year respectively.
Following unbeaten performances all year round Caitlin Bentley was named Junior Rower of the Year whilst Sub-Elite Rower of the year could not be separated between South Africa’s World Rowing U23 Champions in the BM2- Charles Brittian and James Mitchell. Finally, Hillary Abraham was named Masters Rower of the Year following consecutive wins and gold medal in the Masters Women’s F 1x at the Henley Masters Regatta. Newccomer of the year (awarded to an athlete who breaks out onto the international stage representing South Africa) went to World Rowing Junior Championship and Youth Olympic Games athlete Katherine Williams.
St Mary’s School 1st team were the victors of Junior Team of the year for the second successive year, following their unbeaten record across all competitions in the 2017/2018 season, whilst the South African U23 BM2- were named Sub-Elite Team of the Year and also awarded Performance of the Year for their gold medal at the World Rowing U23 Championships.
Having taken huge strides to promote rowing at a junior club level, as well as organising a high-performance rowing tour to Zimbabwe, the South African Junior Clubs Rowing Association (SAJCRA) was awarded the Transformation Award.
Behind the scenes of all of the rowing, Kyle Hanck was recognised as Volunteer of the Year for his contribution to South African rowing as a crucial supporter of university rowing as well as his continued dedication to Rowing South Africa. Herman van Velze was celebrated as the 2018 Umpire of the Year for his successes on the water having been the only South African Umpire to attend the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships as well as being the Chairperson of the South African Rowing Officials Commission (SAROC).
The 2018 Club of the Year was tightly contested between four of South Africa’s top rowing clubs, however, it was St Benedict’s College who claimed victory in this prestigious award. During the year St Benedict’s developed their transformation and development partnership with Imbokodo, had coaches selected for multiple international tours all on top of winning the South African Schools Rowing Championships for the 25th year in a row.
Finally, Sandro Torrente was named the Rowers’ Rower of the Year, one of the most prestigious awards as it is voted on by the athletes that have represented South Africa at a Junior, University, U23, and Senior team during the year. This award is a true recognition of Sandro’s progression through the year and his contribution to the athletes he is around as well as Rowing South Africa.
The full list 2018 RowSA Awards winners can be seen below: