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SAB Sports Journalist of the Year winners

South Africa brought home the Rugby World Cup last year so it comes as no surprise that the sport proved to be a strong source of writing prowess and coverage for this year's SAB Sports Journalists of the Year Awards, held in Sandton, Johannesburg, late last week. Rugby writer Mark Keohane was named Sports Journalist of the Year in the print & Internet category for in-depth and thought-provoking rugby articles and reports which were published by Independent Newspapers.

28th annual overall SAB Sports Journalists of the Year: Mark Gleeson of SuperSport (Television), Mark Keohane writing in Independent Newspapers and the IOL website (Print & Internet) and James Shikwambana of Munghana Lonene FM and SABC Sport (Radio). (Picture by Lettie Ferreira)
28th annual overall SAB Sports Journalists of the Year: Mark Gleeson of SuperSport (Television), Mark Keohane writing in Independent Newspapers and the IOL website (Print & Internet) and James Shikwambana of Munghana Lonene FM and SABC Sport (Radio). (Picture by Lettie Ferreira)
Football also dominated the awards ceremony held on Thursday, 8 May 2008.

Honoured alongside him was James Shikwambana as Sports Journalist of the Year in the radio category for programmes broadcast both on Munghana Lonene FM and SABC Sport. These included a history of Orlando Pirates, as well as his excellent insight into why the US and people of an African origin dominate world sprinting events.

SuperSport's Mark Gleeson was voted Sports Journalist of the Year in the television category for his PSL football commentary on SuperSport. Gleeson is regarded as the No 1 authority on African football and has become a world class commentator during his distinguished career. He is on the FIFA panel to Third World countries and trains FIFA officials in media management and liaison.

Gentleman on the field and off

Former Proteas all-rounder Shaun Pollock - who retired from South African international cricket at the beginning of the year - was voted Most Media Friendly Sports Personality of the Year by sports journalists who praised Polly for always being a gentleman on the field and off.

The late award-winning SABC sports journalist Maseru Koaho was recognised for his immense contribution to sport in this country by being inducted into the SAB Sports Journalists Hall of Fame. Koaho died in a car crash in July 2007. His death sent shockwaves around the country with many mourning the loss of a stalwart in the sports reporting fraternity.

Big names who also walked away with awards include former Springbok rugby player turned commentator Kobus Wiese; broadcaster Robert Marawa; cricketer turned sports journalist Eduan Roos; TV actress Bettie Kemp and Beeld photographer Felix Dlangamandla.

Along with the coveted title, the three category winners each took home R15 000, while sub-category winners received a R3000 cash prize.

Full list of winners

The full list of winners at the 2007 SAB Sports Journalists of the Year Awards, including sub category winners and merit awards, are:

  • Print & Internet Sports Journalist of the Year: Mark Keohane (writing in Independent Newspapers and www.iol.co.za)

  • Radio Sports Journalist of the Year: James Shikwambana (Munghana Lonene FM and SABC Sport)
  • Television Sports Journalist of the Year: Mark Gleeson (SuperSport)

    Print and Internet

  • Sports Columnist of the Year: Winner Neil Manthorp (www.supersport.co.za)
  • Sports Feature Writer of the Year: Winner Mark Keohane (Independent Newspapers and www.iol.co.za)
  • Sports Event/Live Match Reporter of the Year: Winner Mark Keohane (Independent Newspapers); merit Mike Greenaway (Independent Newspapers)
  • Sports Photographer of the Year: Winner Felix Dlangamandla (Beeld); merit Christiaan Kotze (Rapport)
  • Sports Newcomer of the Year: Winner Eduan Roos (Rapport)

    Radio

  • Sports Commentator of the Year: Winner Johann Russouw (RSG)
  • Sports Programme of the Year: Winner Ettienne Ludick (RSG); merit Bettie Kemp (RSG)
  • Sports Presenter of the Year: Winner James Shikwambana (SABC Sport and Munghana Lonene FM)
  • Sports News Reporter of the Year: Winner Robert Marawa (Metro FM)
  • Sports Insert of the Year: Winner Trevor Cramer (Jacaranda 94.2 FM)
  • Sports Newcomer of the Year: No winner. Merit Billy Senaume (SABC Sports)

    Television

  • Sports Programme of the Year: Winner Pieter Cilliers (SABC); merit Devon Brough and Peter Prukl (SuperSport)
  • Sports Live Outside Broadcast of the Year: Winner Alvin Naicker (SuperSport)
  • Sports Commentator of the Year: Winner Mark Gleeson (SuperSport); merit Baba Mthethwa (SABC Sport)
  • Sports Presenter/Personality of the Year: Winner Kobus Wiese (SuperSport); merit Carol Manana Sport (SABC)
  • Sports News Reporter of the Year: Winner Lindani Mbenze (SABC); Merit Altaaf Kazi (SuperSport)
  • Sports Insert of the Year: No winner; merit Kgosi Maruping (eTV)
  • Sports Newcomer of the Year: Winners Zeena Isaacs (SABC) and Xola Ntshinga (SuperSport)

    Most Media Friendly Sports Personality of the Year

  • Cricketer Shaun Pollock

    SAB Sports Writers Hall of Fame Inductee

  • Maseru Koaho

The judges in the Print & Internet category were JJ (Bokkie) Gerber, Guy Hawthorne, Gert Kotze, Joe Latakgomo (convenor) and Len Maseko. In the radio category judges were Len Maseko, Zama Masondo, Arthur Molisiwa, Jan Snyman (convenor) and Joe Visagie. Television judges Robin Kempthorne, Jimi Matthews (convenor), Kass Naidoo, Tex Texeira and Joe Visagie.

Commented print & Internet judge Joe Latakgomo, “We were delighted with the spread of entries from around the country as well as with the many new names that entered this year. The demographics were also mixed. The features category proved to be the strongest this year. Well done to all those who entered - the standard bodes well for the future of South African journalism, particularly as we head for 2010.”

Said TV judge Jimi Matthews, “The SAB Sports Journalists of the Year Awards are in recognition of the dedication that many media practitioners bring to their craft and the enormous contribution they make to enhance our enjoyment of sport.

“Judging anything is always subjective. And judging a sports-related competition even more so. The very essence of sports in the modern era is the passion and the emotion that it evokes. The judging process was characterised by lively discussion and debate as each entry was given its due recognition. Sometimes the judges would vigorously motivate the reasons for their choices as they tried to convince the rest of the panel but mostly there was quick consensus to the obvious winners. The categories for Sports Commentator and Sports Presenter/Personality elicited the biggest debate. All the entries in these categories were worthy of consideration.”

Jan Snyman, radio judge, pointed out that the total number of entries in the radio category increased dramatically this year, with sports programme of the year showing the best quality with impressive innovation and creativity.

Says Tony van Kralingen, MD of SAB Limited: “The South African Breweries Limited is proud to be associated with these awards, especially as we head for 2010 which will see the [FIFA] World Cup being played in this country in the year that these awards celebrate their 30th anniversary. This sponsorship also recognises SAB's commitment to sport in South Africa, a decade-long relationship that has provided us with a source of pride and inspiration. Thanks to all sports journalists for your insights and for making sport come alive for all fans.”


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