Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi and Rugby World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus were honoured at the SA Sport Awards in Durban on Sunday.
Erasmus was named Coach of the Year, while Kolisi was voted as the People’s Choice Sports Star of the Year award.
Former Springbok winger and Rugby World Cup winner in 1995, Chester Williams, who passed away earlier this year, was honoured at the ceremony in Durban with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Last weekend, Erasmus (Coach of the Year), the Springboks (Team of the Year) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (Player of the Year) were honoured at the 2019 World Rugby Awards in Tokyo.
“We are bursting with pride and would like to congratulate Rassie and Siya on the awards they won in Durban last night,” said Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby.
“Rassie took over during a turbulent time for the Springboks and through hard work and a clear plan, managed to win the Rugby World Cup and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship this year – a magnificent achievement.
“Siya’s credentials as a leader became more impressive each day and the way in which he took on the massive responsibility that came with being Springbok captain, was nothing by exemplary.
“To see the two of them receive these awards – like they did last week in Tokyo where Pieter-Steph deservedly got the greatest accolade for any rugby player – was special, and on behalf of SA Rugby, I would like to congratulate all of them on these wonderful achievements.
“We saw in the last few days how powerful a successful Springbok team can be, uniting South Africans from all walks of life, and we are proud of their achievements.”
The Springboks conclude their RWC Trophy Tour in Cape Town on Monday after earlier stops in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Soweto, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth.
Other winners at the SA Sports Awards
Swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker won the South African Sportswoman of Year-award as well as the South African Sports Star of the Year award.
Schoenmaker won a silver medal in the 200m-breaststroke at the FINA World Championships in South Korea. It was the first time that a South African swimmer medalled at a world long course championship.
“Every award I received is special,” Schoenmaker who was unable to attend the awards said in a statement.
“At times it is still hard to believe that I am considered to be one of the best. I am not always sure whether I inspire young female swimmers. I can only hope so.
“I will certainly continue trying to do my best whenever I compete. The most important thing every young swimmer should realise is that nothing is impossible. They only have to believe and be prepared to put in the long and hard hours.
“There was a time that the media had some harsh opinions on the state of South African women’s swimming. There had been a lot of speculation about whether female swimmers were good enough.
“This year will be remembered as the year that South African female swimmers truly stepped up. There were nearly as many female swimmers competing at the World Championships than there were men.
“In the past one of the worrisome statistics in South African swimming were the big time gap between the heroics of Penny Heyns to Suzaan van Biljon and me. I honestly believe it is changing.”
Seven-year-old golfing prodigy Simthandile Tshabalala was the youngest individual to be honoured at the SA Sports Awards with the Ministers Excellence Award.
The Proteas Netball Team won the team of the year after their run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Liverpool, which captivated the nation.