CAPTION (left to right): Refilwe Masemola, External Communications Director, SAB & AB InBev Africa alongside soccer and rugby commentator Mthuthuzeli Scott, 2019 SAB Sports Hall of Fame winner at the SAB Sports Media Awards last night.
The 39th Annual SAB Sports Media Awards has recognised the country’s best in the business once again at a gala event at the Wanderer’s Club.
SAB, the country’s biggest brewer, has recognised excellence in sporting journalism for close on four decades, with flagship brand Castle Lager sponsoring sport in the country for more than 50 years as the inaugural sponsor of both Bafana Bafana and the Proteas since the country’s return to international sport in 1992.
The judges were all extremely passionate about the industry, said convenor of judges, John Perlman. “Comments from judges included that some of the entries were ‘simply breath-taking and restored my faith in South African journalism’, while others spoke with equal passion about problems: ‘Because of the unrelenting pressure of daily shows, hourly bulletins and the beast of the 24-hour news cycle, a lack of creativity and originality has crept in’. Whether positive or negative these sentiments reflect a desire to see South African sports journalism flourish.”
Perlman said the Awards showed that there was “much to celebrate and lots to work on. Which is at is should be”.
“We aim to encourage new entrants into covering sport, increasing competition and further increasing quality of sports reporting. We are very proud of our deserving journalists who have done some excellent work,” said Refilwe Masemola, SAB Director of External Communications: Africa Zone.
Winners in each category received a cash prize of R15,000 with the winner of the Photography sub-category “Action Shot of the Year” and the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ in each category receiving R5,000.
The awards also inducted soccer and rugby commentator Mthuthuzeli Scott into the SAB Sports Hall of Fame and acknowledged, esteemed sports freelance writer, Simnikiwe Xabanisa as the Sports Journalists’ Journalist of the Year.
The SAB Sports Media Award winners for 2019 are:
INTEGRATED MEDIA AWARDS
- Winner: Lloyd Burnard, News24.com
- Newcomer of the Year (photography, written, video and audio media): Joint award to Ahmed Kajee and Michael Pedro, both EWN
AUDIO MEDIA AWARDS
- Sports Commentator of the Year: Johan Le Roux, Radio 2000
- Sports Presenter of the Year: Thabiso Mosia, SAfm
- Sports News Reporter of the Year: Mosibodi Whitehead, Kaya FM
- Sports Producer of the Year: Jody Hendricks, RSG
- Newcomer of the Year: Sibusiso Mjikeliso, TimesLive
WRITTEN MEDIA AWARDS
- Sports Feature Writer of the Year: Sibusiso Mjikeliso, Freelance
- Sports Columnist of the Year: Simnikiwe Xabanisa, City Press & SA Rugby Mag
- Sports News Reporter of the Year: Marizanne Kok, Beeld & Rapport
- Newcomer of the Year: Lorenz Kohler , Kick Off
- Sports Photographer of the Year: Sydney Seshibedi, Gallo Images
- Action Shot of the Year: Wessel Oosthuizen, SASPA
VIDEO MEDIA AWARDS
- Sports Commentator of the Year: Matthew Pearce, SuperSport
- Sports News Reporter of the Year: Ronald Masinda, eNCA
- Sports Producer of the Year: Tyrone Bailey, SuperSport
- Sports Presenter of the Year: Julia Stuart, SuperSport
- Newcomer of the Year: Benjamin Leshoro, Newzroom Afrika
- Journalists' Journalist of the Year: Simnikiwe Xabanisa, freelancer
- Hall of Fame: Mthuthuzeli Scott, SABC