22 August 2010
Banyana Banyana’s red-hot striker, Noko Matlou, scooped the Sportswoman of the Year accolade at the 2011 SA Sports Awards ceremony at Sun City on Sunday evening.
Winning the award was worth R50 000.
In February 2009, at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards ceremony, Matlou became the first South African player to be named the CAF Female Player of the Year.
She played a central role in Banyana finishing as runners-up in the recent Cosafa women’s championship held in Zimbabwe. She also starred for the national team when it won bronze at the 2010 African Women’s Championships.
Matlou has scored 48 goals in just 61 appearances for Banyana, and is aiming to build on that tally as Banyana attempts to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The other finalists for the award were javelin star Sunette Viljoen and Pietie Coetzee, the all-time leading goal scorer in women’s international hockey.
Sportswoman with a Disability Award
World number 13 Kgothatso Montjane of the South African women’s wheelchair tennis team won the Sportswoman with a Disability Award.
In May of this year, she finished unbeaten at the International Tennis Federation’s World Team Cup held at the University of Pretoria.
Montjane was up against two swimmers for the award: 2010 Laureus Sports Award winner Natalie du Toit and Emily Gray.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said: “The Sports Awards are imperative as they are not only a platform for incentive and jollity for sport excellence, but a celebration of human triumph.”
The theme of the awards was “Today’s Leaders, Tomorrow’s Legends.”
The awards, which were not held the previous two years, were broadcast by the national brodcaster on SABC 1 and by pay channel DStv on SuperSport.