WINDHOEK – Rugby was the chief beneficiary at the prestigious annual MTC/NSC Sports Awards during a glittering gala ceremony at the Windhoek Country Club on Friday night.
The Namibian Rugby Union (NRU) walked away with a medal haul of five major awards that included Sports Team of the Year, after qualifying for the 2015 IRB World Cup in England.
Wheelchair-bound mentor, Danie Vermeulen, was named joint winner in the category for best coach of the year alongside boxing trainer, Michael Hamukwaya.
Hippy look-alike loose forward Renaldo Bothma beat his competitors hands down for the Most Improved Athlete of the Year award, following a stellar performance at the African qualification tourney that saw him ground 4 tries in Namibia’s 89-10 win against hosts Madagascar.
Off the pitch, NRU’s charismatic CEO Sybrand de Beer walked away with the coveted top administrator award with team doctor Vernon Morkel taking the honours as the Volunteer of the Year.
In a tightly contested battle, rookie amateur boxer and 2014 Commonwealth silver medalist, Jonas Junius Jonas, shook off some unwanted attention from well-established professional boxers to clinch the prestigious Sportsman of the Year award – subsequently netting the much sought-after Top Achiever award and in the process picking up earnings totalling N$300 000.
Cyclist Vera Adrian was victorious in the equally prestigious Sportswoman category and walked away with a handsome cheque of N$100 000.
Former footballer, Boston Likando, aka Ponny Muyambango, was among the proud recipients of the Lifetime Achiever award. Others were Laurie Pieters, Aunt Ricky Fredericks, Quinton Steele-Botes (posthumous) Agnes Tjongarero and Leroy Beukes (posthumous).
Other winners on the night were Disabled Junior Sportsman: Kaurumbua Sutu, Disabled Junior Sportswoman: Lahja Ishitile (athletics), Disabled Sportsman: Ruben Soroseb (power lifting), Disabled Sportswoman: Johanna Benson, Junior Sportsman: Jean Burger (triathlon), Junior Sportswoman: Zanre Oberholzer (swimming), Volunteer: Dr Vernon Morkel (rugby), Best Referee/Umpire: Britt Adonis (gymnastics), Most Improved Athlete: Renaldo Bothma (rugby), Best Administrator: Sybrand de Beer (rugby), Coach: Michael Hamukwaya (Paralympics) and Danie Vermeulen (rugby), Best Team: Senior Rugby Team, Best Development Programme: Tennis (National Tennis Association).