makhaya-ntini.jpgThis year’s Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) will be held on the 16th of December with retired South African international cricket star, Makhaya Ntini and legendary Kenyan middle and long distance runner, Kipchoge “Kip” Keino expected to grace the occasion.

 

Ntini and Keino are two top African sportspersons who have been invited by the Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) to grace Zimbabwe’s prestigious Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA), which celebrate sporting excellence.
 
The prestigious Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) gala is held annually to celebrate achievements of local sportspersons every calendar year.

 

Director of Business Development and Marketing at the SRC, Fidelis Chipunza said the idea to invite such stars is to give local athletes an opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the heroes in the world of sport so that they can be inspired.

 

Some 500 guests are expected to gather to celebrate sporting excellence and to pay tribute to hard work, dedication and achievements by the country’s finest sportsperson.

 

The awards are aimed at motivating young athletes and officials from grassroots levels, while providing a platform to stimulate and sustain development through sport.

 

Makhaya Ntini announced his retirement from international cricket recently after serving the country’s national team for close to 13 years since becoming the first black cricketer to represent South Africa in 1998.

 

Keino, on the other hand, is the first in a long line of successful Kenyan middle and long distance runners and is now the president of the Kenyan Olympic Committee.

 

World karate champion, Sensei Samson Muripo is the reigning Sportsperson of the Year after winning the world title last year.

Other past winners include tennis star, Cara Black and swimming champion, Kirsty Coventry.

 

Various sports associations have been submitting their nominations in the past three weeks while tracking of athletes has been ongoing since January with the adjudication committee meeting once every month.

 

With the organisers having retained the panel of judges from last year, a panel of experts is currently carrying out the selection process with the final list of nominees expected to be ready by the end of the month.

 

Meanwhile, in this year’s edition of the ANSA, a new category known as “Special Acknowledgement Award” for individuals and corporate, has been added.