FIRST-YEAR student Siyolisile Lusaseni (19) has been named UCT Sportsperson of the Year, the second woman in two years to clinch the title. Last year fencer Shih-Ya Huang scooped top honours at the annual banquet.
This year's award was made in absentia as Lusaseni, the first squash player in UCT's history to be selected to play for the national side, was in Denmark for the World Squash Championships.
The sports star's performance this year has been characterised by several highs. Her goal was to secure a place in the Western Province women's A side, which she did, remaining unbeaten at provincial level. At the recent National Squash Championships she was ranked seventh, her skill and results finally winning her a berth in the national side.
â€œSiyolisile's achievements are excellent, especially when you consider how tough it is to get into a top team comprising only four players,â€ Sport and Recreation Director John Donald commented.
In scooping the coveted sports award, Lusaseni was up against some tough competition. The top finalists included:
- Shih-Ya Huang (last-year's winner of the title), who was part of the South African team that competed in the Commonwealth Games and the Africa Cup;
- Stuart Thomson, selected for the South African rowing team that won the first-ever gold for rowing (in a coxless four) at the Commonwealth Games;
- Raazik Nordien, the youngest-ever Western province swimming captain, who represented South Africa at a number of events during the year;
- Rugby winger John Bradshaw, who donned the Western Province hoops in the Vodacom and Currie Cup tournaments.
Congratulations to all the nominees. The big question is: can UCT women make it a hat trick next year? Watch this space!