Water polo megastar Meghan Maartens and squash ace Warren Bower received top honours at the Madibaz Sports Awards at Mandela University in Gqeberha last night.
Besides being named Sportswoman of the Year, the Director of Sport and Student Personality awards were also bestowed on Maartens.
“It’s a big honour to receive this award tonight,” she said after the gala event. “And to come from Cape Town to see all my friends and varsity family is very special.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more. They have made this happen, so thank you.”
Bower, who got the nod for Sportsman of the Year for his individual on-court achievements, was also instrumental in the men’s side earning the university’s Team of the Year award.
“I feel really proud actually because I wasn’t expecting this,” he said.
“I want to say thank you to my teammates, my coach and my manager – and also to the Lord for the talent He gave me.
Maartens represented the elite South African team at the 20th Fina World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
They produced their best performance at the global showpiece, defeating Argentina to earn a place in the top 12 for the first time.
In that encounter, the Madibaz goalkeeper became the only member of the squad to be named player of the match during the competition.
The postgraduate education student was also included in the squad for the World Student Games, but was unable to go due to her selection to the senior team.
Bower’s crown achievement was his silver-medal performance at the University Sports SA tournament in Johannesburg in July.
Although losing in the final against UCT’s Lawrence Kuhn, his efforts during the week earned him a spot on the USSA national team that will compete at the FISU Games in 2024.
The Madibaz No 1 also helped the team annex the silver medal at the national event for tertiary institutions.
In addition, the construction management student won the Madibaz Open for the first time while finishing runner-up in the EP Closed tournament.
The team were second in the Eastern Province first league and provided three players to the five-man EP A side for the annual Growthpoint interprovincial tournament. They were player-coach Jason le Roux, Bower and Siphelele Mpini.
Full list of winners:
Sportsman of the Year: Warren Bower
Sportswoman of the Year: Meghan Maartens
Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Luchay Weideman
Junior Sportsman of the Year: Tjaart van der Walt
Team of the Year: Madibaz men’s squash
Technical Official of the Year: Cheryl Kotze
Coach of the Year: Jason le Roux
Student Coach of the Year: Sango Mbiyashe
Student Administrator of the Year: Kamva Dyakala
Administrator of the Year: Hildah Dikhudu
Director of Sport Award: Meghan Maartens
Community Outreach Award: SPAR Madibaz Netball Club
Student Personality of the Year: Meghan Maartens
Most Improved Club of the Year: Madibaz Volleyball Club
Club of the Year: SPAR Madibaz Netball Club