April, coach walk off with star awards

Alvin Reeves

SUPER SCOOP: Herald freelance soccer writer Mogan Segadavan wins the Journalist of the Year Award and accepts his trophy from Safa president Danny Jordaan and Bay mayor Ben Fihla
SUPER SCOOP: Herald freelance soccer writer Mogan Segadavan wins the Journalist of the Year Award and accepts his trophy from Safa president Danny Jordaan and Bay mayor Ben Fihla
PROUD WINNER: Long distance runner Lusapho April celebrates a victory off the road when he was named the Eastern Cape Premier's Sport and Recreation Achievers Awards Sports Star of the Year at the weekend. Pictures: CHIVARGO KIEWIETS
PROUD WINNER: Long distance runner Lusapho April celebrates a victory off the road when he was named the Eastern Cape Premier’s Sport and Recreation Achievers Awards Sports Star of the Year at the weekend. Pictures: CHIVARGO KIEWIETS

MARATHON man Lusapho April was rewarded for his outstanding achievement in the past year when he was named the Sports Star of the Year at the Eastern Cape Premier’s Sport and Recreation Achievers Awards held at the Boardwalk Convention Centre on Friday night.

Addo-born April beat strong challenges from swimmer Kevin Paul and gymnast Bianca Zoonekynd to grab the main prize on offer.

The 31-year-old also won the Sportsman of the Year title, while Zoonekynd snapped up the women’s equivalent.

Herald freelance soccer writer Mogan Segadavan, who has covered the sport tirelessly for almost 40 years, won the Journalist of the Year award.

April’s mentor for 15 years, Karen Zimmerman, who won Coach of the Year, was there to share his success with him.

“It’s great to finally be recognised and that here on my home turf too,” April said.

“I must thank my coach Karen Zimmerman for the part she has played in my career as well as my training partner Mariano Eessou.

“I could not make it to last year’s awards so I’m glad my training schedule allowed for me to be here this time around.”

His next major event is the World Half-marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 29. He will then take on the best at the Boston Marathon three weeks later. Here he will be looking to go two better than the impressive third he attained in the New York Marathon in November.

April joined the league of elite runners in the world, which includes Dennis Kimetto, Meb Keflezighi, Moses Mosop and Wilson Chebet. This means the Uitenhage runner is now a member of the John Hancock Elite Athlete team of 46 runners from 13 countries.

April qualified to be part of the star-studded team after winning the prestigious Hanover Marathon in Germany in May last year in a career-best time of 2hrs 8min 32 secs. He is also a two-time winner of the Two Oceans marathon.

“I want to start doing more high-profile marathons in the world to gain experience.

“The bigger picture for me is the 2016 Olympics where I want to come back with a medal. That’s what my coach and I are working towards.”

The category winners were:

Excellence Class of 2013: Thabo Sonjica (Exceptional Merit Achievement in pro boxing), Simphiwe Vetyeka (Exceptional Merit Achievement in pro boxing), Mandisa Williams (Exceptional Merit Achievement in women’s rugby), Zenay Jordaan (Exceptional Merit Achievement in women’s rugby)

School team of the year: Lingelihle Senior Secondary

Sport team of the year, disability: ECSA II table tennis

Sport team of the year: EC Amateur Boxing Organisation

Federation of the year: EC Handball

Journalist of the year: Mogan Segadavan (The Herald)

Presenter of the year: Sithembiso Mgqezana

Sportswoman of the year, golden age: Machile Maholoto

Sportsman of the year, golden age: Henry Botha

Indigenous Games star of the year: Ntom- bikayise Dunjwa

Technical official of the year: Shaun George

Coach of the year: Karen Zimmerman

Administrator of the year: Chris Nenzani

Sportswoman of the year, disability: Siphe Dlinga

Sportsman of the year, disability: Kevin Paul

Sportswoman of the year: Bianca Zoonekynd (gymnastics)

Sportsman of the year: Lusapho April

Sport star of the year: Lusapho April

 

One thought on “April, coach walk off with star awards

  • March 12, 2014 at 11:49 am
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    Hi do you by any chance have the pics of the candidates for the MEC Special Award catergory?

    Reply

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