The Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, congratulates Wayde van Niekerk, the 23-year old South African athlete and University of the Free State Marketing student, for winning the South African Sportsman of the Year and Sports Star of the Year Awards at the SA Sport Awards, held in Bloemfontein on November 22, 2015.
For the Sports Star of the Year Award, dubbed the “People’s Choice” Award because the winner is selected through an sms voter campaign, the 200 metres and 400 metres runner beat off stiff competition from wheelchair tennis champion Lucas Sithole, cyclist Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, star swimmer Chad le Clos and the Proteas’ world No 1 batsman AB de Villiers.
“On behalf of the Free State Provincial Government, I wish congratulate Mr. van Niekerk on his amazing achievements. His excellence is putting the Free State on the international pedestal and that is helping the course of Moving South Africa Forward”, said the Premier.
The awards sum up an incredible year for the prolific runner who, at the 2015 IAAF World Championships, won gold in the 400 metres with a personal best time of 43.48 seconds, making him one of the fastest runners in the world.
“His achievements are experienced at a time when the Free State Provincial Government is doing all it can to ensure that the youth have hope that they too, irrespective of their gender, class, race can achieve greater heights and be counted amongst the best. We wish Mr van Niekerk all the best as he continues to compete with the finest in the world”, said the Premier.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS