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The award is a new award for 2017 and will be decided by the industry via an online voting system. The nominees are being evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Awarded to someone who has had a distinguished year in the sport industry.
  2. Someone who has personally or through their entity brought a positive spotlight to the industry and the value it has to offer its stakeholders.
  3. Someone who has used PR, marketing, social media, sports marketing, CSI, to innovatively and creatively position or raise their sport’s profile and or their organisation and or the sport industry.
  4. The winner must demonstrate how they have improved their immediate environments, who has benefitted and how they have benefitted.
  5. Additionally, the winner and or their achievements must raise the profile of the sport industry in a manner that demonstrates innovation, leadership, strategy, relevance and significant positive impact.

The 2017 nominees: Douglas Ryder, Hank McGregor, John Comitis and Mimi Mthethwa-Zulu

Douglas Ryder – Ryder Cycling: team Dimension Data for Qhubeka

Ten years ago a dream was born – to take an African team to race at the highest level on the world stage of cycling.

In 2015 it was realised with a wild card entry to the Tour de France but it didn’t end there – a stage was won (on Mandela Day) and an Eritrean rider became the first African to wear the King of the Mountain jersey, igniting the imagination of the cycling world. Africa had arrived.

While 2015 was a prelude, 2016 became a true dawn. For more information, click here.

Hank McGregor – Paddling Pioneer and World Paddling Champion

Hank McGregor is a family man, with a wife and toddler. He works a day job, running a small construction company, but McGregor is very far from average.

The man from Durban has one junior and eight senior World Paddling Titles to his name, as well as countless canoeing and surfski honours. He has won every paddling race worth winning in South Africa, and many beyond our borders.

Even more extraordinary is that McGregor claimed his seventh and eighth world titles in 2016, at the age of 38. But his story doesn’t end there. For more information, click here.

John Comitis – Cape Town City Football Club

The visionary launch of Cape Town City FC, by John Comitis, has reignited national interest in local football and has created an underdog story that the people of South Africa continue to fall in love with. The innovative and disruptive use of marketing and social media have engaged a new, previously unreached, population creating an inclusive and energized football fan experience.

Cape Town City’s off-the-field innovation has been matched with marked success this past season winning the 2016 Telkom Knockout national trophy and sitting first on the Premier Soccer League table. Additionally, the ground-breaking DreamClub100 project launched in 2016 is the most far-reaching and engaging youth development CSI initiative in South African Football. For more information, click here.

Mimi Mthethwa-Zulu – Netball South Africa

Over the past 4 years Netball South Africa has grown its competition structure to an almost full calendar year from January to November. This includes an annual Inter-Provincial Tournament, Incoming and Outgoing Test Matches, National Weeks for all age groups plus participation in the World Fast Five Netball event each year. Television coverage is now well over 100 matches shown live and with nearly 300 repeats. This is coming from a base of very few televised matches just four years ago.

This exciting growth in commercial ventures and participation levels has required increased management of the sport and its stakeholders and Mimi Mthethwa-Zulu has played a crucial role in facilitating this. For more information, click here.

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