By BENEDICT TEMBO
The Copper Queens, three sports personalities and a journalist have been nominated for the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Regional Annual Sport Awards (RASA) 2023.
The AUSC Region 5 is the sports arm of the African Union (AU).
It was formed in the 1960s, and its headquarters is based in the Cameroun capital, Yaoundé.
Jade Phiri (swimmer) has been nominated for the Junior sports-woman-of-the-year, Ivy Chanda, a footballer, is a candidate for the sports-woman-of-the-year with a disability and William Chinzewe, who plays draught is in the run for junior sportsman-of-the-year), with the Copper Queens earmarked for the sports team-of-the-year award.
Memory Malisawa, a scribe, who is contesting the Journalist of the year completes the list of Zambia’s nominees for the RASA, which is scheduled to be hosted in Eswatini on 24 thus month, to be celebrated under the theme, “Celebrating Excellence, Inspiring Innovation.”
The event is expected to attract about three hundred 300 invited guests and dignitaries, including six ministers of sport from Region 5 member countries, legends and sports celebrities from across the region.
Confirming the final list of the top three nominees per category, AUSC Region 5 chief executive officer Stanley Mutoya confirmed that the voting process, which started on May 19 this year, ended at midnight on Wednesday last week, and the top three deserving athletes per category are now in the public domain.
“We now wait with bated breath for the night of the event where the winners will be coronated,” Mutoya said.
The voting process, which consists of a thorough process under the watchful eye of Grant Thornton Botswana, an audit firm, involved all the region’s stakeholders.
Mutoya said eligibility for the RASA is based on the country hosting its own national awards. He said winners from the national awards automatically qualify to be in the long list of nominees for the RASA, from which the top three are selected and the winner is announced during the RASA gala night.
Mutoya said eight of the Region 5 member countries (with the exception of Angola and Lesotho) entered nominees for the 2023 RASA edition.
The awards are made up of 12 categories to recognise athletes, coaches, member countries, regional confederations, journalists and teams that have produced outstanding performances in sport at regional and international level.
Mutoya said winners of ten of these categories are selected through a voting process with the confederation of the year and country of the year being selected through an adjudication panel. This year’s panel is scheduled to sit on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 in Gaborone, Botswana and comprises of Charles Dzimba, the former SCSA Zove VI general manager (Now AUSC Region 5) Gideon Sam, the former chairperson of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and Miriam Moyo, the former president of the Zambia National Olympic Committee and current Commonwealth Games Federation Regional vice-president for Africa.
He said the Confederation-of-the-year award will be conferred to that confederation that is in-good standing in corporate governance, participates in the Region’s programmes and activities and runs regular competitions in the region.
Mutoya said the respective regional confederation must be geared in the goal of producing talent that will represent the region at the world stage events.
“The country-of-the-year award will go to a country that would have taken a leadership role in the implementation of the AUSC Region 5 programmes, has well-executed sport and recreation development programmes and produces athletes and teams that are excelling and bringing home medals from international championships and events,” he said
The full list of the nominees for the 2023 …
· Sihlelelwe Zwakele Matsebula, Taekwondo, Eswatini
· Sean Joseph, Boxing, Malawi
· William Chinzewe, Draught, Zambia
· Hayley Hoy, Swimming, Eswatini
· Christine Mboma, Athletics, Namibia
· Jade Phiri, Swimming, Zambia
· Peter Shalulile, Football, Namibia
· Pieter Coetzee, Swimming, South Africa
· Tebogo Letsile, Athletics, Botswana
· Lara Van Niekerk, Swimming, South Africa
· Naledi, Marape, Chess, Botswana
· Halalia Johannes, Athletics, Namibia
· Jonathan Ntuntu, Athletics, South Africa
· Edwin Masuge, Athletics, Botswana
· Ananias Shikongo, Athletics, Namibia
· Minkie Janse van Rensburg, Swimming, South Africa
· Lahja Ishitile, Athletics, Namibia
· Ivy Chanda, Football, Zambia
· Botswana 4 x 400 meters Men Relay, Athletics, Botswana
· Malawi Women Football Team (The Scorchers) Football, Malawi
· Copper Queens, Football, Zambia
· Justice Dipeba, Athletics, Botswana
· Cheryl Tafadzwa Hove, Special Olympics, Zimbabwe
· Lucas Sinoia, Boxing, Mozambique
Journalist of the year
· Peter Kanjere, Malawi
· Memory Malisawa, Zambia
· Hloni Mtimkulu, South Africa
· Andile Dlamini, Football, South Africa
· Rady Adosinda Gramane, Boxing, Mozambique
· Tebogo Letsile, Athletics, Botswana