Matfield nominated for top award

Springbok lock Victor Matfield has been nominated for the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award.

Matfield will go up against karate’s Peter Sabatha for the accolade, and the winner will be announced at the SA Sports Awards on 21 August.

The awards recognise individuals and teams who have excelled both on and off the field during the period 1 November 2009 to 30 April 2011. Sixteen awards will be handed out, and a number of rugby players are in the running.

Cecil Afrika has been recognised for his superb displays in the Sevens World Series in his nomination as Sports Star of the Year. Afrika will go up against Cameron van der Burgh, world and Commonwealth champion in the 50m breaststroke, Masters golf champion Charl Schwartzel, Hashim Amla, currently the world’s top-ranked ODI batsman, and 2009 CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year Noko Matlou.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, who coached the Pretoria franchise to back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2009 and 2010, as well as the Currie Cup crown in 2009, has been nominated as Coach of the Year, alongside Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane and Johan van Heerden (angling).

The Bulls were also nominated in the category of Team of the Year, where they will come up against the Commonwealth Games Bowls team and the P750 Inflatable Powerboat Team.

Like Matfield, John Smit has been nominated in a special category. His name appears on the list of nominees for the Minister’s Award, alongside Caster Semenya (athletics), Noni Tenge (boxing), Siphiwe Tshabalala and Steven Pienaar (both soccer), as well as Louis Oosthuizen (golf).