The delayed 2018 Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) nominees were unveiled on Friday with no major surprises.
The ANSA ceremony set for the 1st of March is unlikely to deliver its customary glamour, thrills, excitement and surprises following the unveiling of the 2018 nominees on Friday in the capital.
The postponement of the ceremony last year has taken away the gloss from the event set for the first of March.
The 2018 edition of the awards ceremony meant to recognise, honour and celebrate outstanding sport achievements by individuals, teams and officials was postponed last year due to economic and logistical challenges, taking away the gloss from the event.
Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) Director General Prince Mupazviriho set the tone for the awards and said there is need to re-brand the awards to improve the quality.
“There is need to rebrand ANSA going forward while preserving the gains if we are to take the awards forward,” said Mr Mupazviriwo.
Judges panel vice chairman Witness Mugulula outlined the criteria and said the most deserving sportspersons were duly considered and recognised.
There were several murmurs of discontent from members of the media fraternity present and the question and answer session as rather lukewarm with very little engagement.
The belief was that national sport associations, sports clubs and delivery agents and the media fraternity need to expose athletes, teams, coaches and technical officials to high profile competitions to ensure more deserving sportspersons are duly considered and recognised.
There were no nominations for the Junior Sportswoman of Year, which judges said was still under consideration and would be announced a week later.
Junior Sportsman of the Year favourite is swimmer Liam O’hara.
Sportswoman with Disability is a three-way horse-race Moment Bhebhe t13 athlete, Liberty Shoko visually impaired and Grace Nyamadzawo t12.
Sportsman with Disability is between visually impaired Tafadzwa Munyoro t12 and golfer Selassie Chiwisa.
The Sportswoman of Year award features karate’s Grace Chirumanzu and Kudakwashe Chiwandire who is a karateka and kickboxer.
Sportsman features golfer Ben-Folket Smith, kobudo expert Wilfred Mashayi and karateka Samson Muripo.
Disabled Sportsperson features wheelchair athlete Elford Moyo, golfer Munya Musariri and Isaac Guti.
Team of the Year features Sevens rugby, netball gems and rowing team, while Coach of the Year has Sevens rugby coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba, Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa and Netball Gems coach Lloyd Makunde.
Technical Official of the Year has basketball referee Joyce Mchenu, triathlon’s Rick Fulton and Langton cricket umpire.
The awards ceremony has been set for the first of March in the capital.