Home » Sports » While We’re Sleeping – Shakes Wins Coach of the Year – Modise Takes Sports Star Award

THE South Africa Sports Awards danced to a football beat in Sandton on Sunday night, just a few weeks before the stunning decline of the game, in this country, is highlighted when Zimbabwe holds its show to honour this year’s outstanding sports-people.

Bafana Bafana gaffer Shakes Mashaba took the Coach of the Year award for the starring role he has played in transforming the national football team, in the past five months, into a competitive side that dominated its group as they qualified for the 2015 Nations Cup finals.

Banyana Banyana forward, Portia Modise, took the biggest honour of the night, the South Africa Sports Star of the Year award, voted for by the public, after she reached the 100-goal mark in her national team colours at the CAF African Women Championships in Namibia.

The South Africa Under-17 and Under-20 national football teams, who this year qualified for the CAF African Youth Championship finals, giving themselves a shot at qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups, were also honoured on the night.

South African football has been enjoying a stunning revival since Danny Jordaan took over as SAFA President in September last year and, for the first time in their history, all their national teams qualified for the finals of the CAF tournaments they competed in this year.

Jordaan’s appointment of Mashaba, as the Bafana Bafana coach, is being hailed as a master-class after the gaffer breathed fire into a team, which had been punching below its belt, having last qualified for a major tournament six years ago, when they booked their place at the 2008 Nations Cup finals.

Mashaba has revived a team that was famously dubbed “a bunch of failures,” by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, earlier this year after a depressingly poor campaign at home during the 2014 CHAN finals, and turned them into a team good enough to win their 2015 Nations Cup qualifying group.

Bafana Bafana never lost a game, in a tough group that featured defending African champions Nigeria, plucky Congo Brazzaville and Sudan, winning three and drawing three of their games, and only conceding three goals in six games.

Two of their victories came on the road, in Brazzaville and Khartoum, while they also picked a point in Nigeria.

“This has really been a great year for South African football, the Gods of African football are really smiling at us, as Shakes always says,” Jordaan said.

“As an Association we are proud of him as he has brought back the smiles to millions of South Africans who are passionate about Bafana Bafana.

“It seems everything he touches turns to gold because he did the same thing with Bafana Bafana as he did with the Under-20 squad, our football is clearly heading in the right direction and want to thank this diligent South African.

“We are glad we made the right choice when we appointed him to lead those two teams.”

Jordaan also heaped praises on Modise.

“She is a phenomenal goal-scorer and her record will take some beating. Portia is a living legend,” added Dr Jordaan.

But while the South African football stars were illuminating the night in Sandton on Sunday, confirming that the game has fought its way back from the wilderness, Zimbabwe’s football, though the country’s flagship sporting discipline, will be missing from the party when the country holds its annual national sports awards ceremony in Harare on December 17.

None of the local football stars or administrators were nominated for the 2014 Annual National Sports Awards after a year in which the game’s decline was highlighted by the Warriors’ doomed 2015 Nations Cup finals campaign which ended in the preliminary stages after a humbling defeat at the hands of Tanzania.

Having been relegated to the preliminaries, the Warriors failed to clear the hurdle erected by Tanzania and, in just two games, their bid to qualify for the 2015 Nations Cup finals was over.

The Under-17s and Under-20 national teams did not compete in the qualifiers for the 2015 CAF Championships, two years after the Young Warriors failed to travel to Brazzaville and Luanda for the reverse legs of their qualifiers against Congo and Angola.

The Mighty Warriors, for the first time, lost to Zambia in the qualifiers for the CAF African Women Championships.

While domestic football will be taking a back seat, come December 17, the so-called minority sporting disciplines will take centre stage and where the South Africans celebrated Mashaba’s crowning as the Coach of the Year, the award here for the Coach of the Year will go to either a man who coaches tennis, and even plays in some competitions, or the one who coaches junior goal.

It could even go to a man who coaches the national darts team and, for a country that prides itself as a football nation, this must be quite an embarrassment.

Martin Dzuwa, who was a success story with the Davis Cup team, is the favourite for the Coach of the Year award but he faces a battle against darts coach Dhlamini Mtonzima and junior golf team coach Phillip Tshuma.

Where the South Africans voted for Banyana star Modise as the Sports Star of the Year, here it won’t go to any of our footballers and could be taken by boxer Charles Manyuchi or ageless tennis star Cara Black.

But that a karateka, Winston Nyanhete, and an emerging golfer, Scott Vincent, who is still in college, have been judged to have done more than any of our footballers, with their nominations for the Sportsman of the Year award, hammers home the point of how far our national game is drifting away into the darkness.

Interestingly, Yollander Mubaiwa, a golfer, and Rutendo Nyahora, an athlete, were deemed to have done better than any of our female football players after being nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year award.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, sounded the alarm bell in Harare on Friday night when he issued a chilling warning that, at the rate Zimbabwean football was declining, the kids in primary school today, who dream of becoming football stars of tomorrow, will have no game to play when they grow up.

Ziyambi said it was sad that people were just watching from a distance, while the national game continues to take a knock with each passing month, and questioned the calibre of the men who were given the task to administer the game.

2014 South Africa Sports Winners

Sports Star of the Year — Portia Modise

Administrator of the Year — Nokuzola Patience Thamae

Sportsman of the Year — Chad Le Clos

Sportsman of the Year with Disability — Ernst Francois Van Dyk

Sportswoman of the Year — Ashleigh Moolman Pasio

Sportswoman of the Year with Disability — Justin Asher

Team of the Year — U19 Cricket

Newcomer of the Year — Gezelle Magermann

Coach of the Year — Ephraim Shakes Mashaba

Volunteer of the Year — Sandile Mqadi

Indigenous Games of the Year — Ncuva Limpopo

Recreation Body of the Year — Sport for Social Change Network

Photographer of the Year — Reg Caldecott

Journalist of the Year — Mathews Mpete

School Team of the Year — Vorentoe High School

Developing School Team of the Year — Oudtshoorn School of Skills

Federation of the Year — Triathlon South Africa

SILVER

Lifetime Achievement Award — Andrew Mlangeni

Lifetime Achievement Award — Senzo Meyiwa

Lifetime Achievement Award — Marthinus Linee

Lifetime Achievement Award — Mbulaeni Mulaudzi

Lifetime Achievement Award — Phindile Mwelase.

Source : The Herald

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