University of Johannesburg: UJ Olympians Kristen Paton and Ronald Brown walk away with 2021 UJ Sportsman, Sportswoman of the Year Awards

Two University of Johannesburg (UJ) student-athletes, Kristen Paton and Ronald Brown, were the biggest winners of the night as UJ Sport honoured excelling students, coaches, club managers, and support sports staff at its 2021 Sports Awards in Randburg on 11 November 2021.

Kristen Paton And Ronald Brown
Kristen Paton and Ronald Brown were crowned the UJ Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year (2021), respectively, at the UJ Sports Gala on Thursday, 11 November 2021.
UJ and South Africa’s hockey player, Paton, walked away with two awards after her stellar performances in representing the country in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in July and August 2021. The 5th year Chiropractic student won the Student-Athlete of the Year Award and the Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Brown, who shot to stardom in recent years, took the coveted Sportsman of the Year Award.

Paton was part of Team South Africa’s Olympic hockey squad that played five group stage matches in Tokyo. Although the team lost all its five matches in the global games, this was one of the best highlights for Paton having competed among the world’s best players.

The 2021 sports season was a successful period for Brown. He represented the Blitzboks, South Africa’s Sevens rugby team, in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Brown and his teammates started the competition well, finishing top of the table in Pool C. However, a five-player Argentinian squad knocked South Africa out with a 19-14 final score in the quarter-finals, ending their dreams of progressing to the semi-finals in the global games.

“I feel awesome and happy. Following all the years that I’ve been with UJ, it feels great to be noticed. I feel like it is an extra push that I needed at this stage of my. I need every little motivation that I can get,” says Ronald Brown.

Brown was also selected for the Blitzboks squad that could have travelled to Spain in February 2021, but the Spanish government called of the tournament due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions. He is a Batchelor Education Senior Phase student. Brown redeemed himself later on by winning the global HSBC World Rugby Sevens tournament in Vancouver, Canada, as part of the South Africa’s Sevens (7s) rugby team.

The University’s leaders, such as Prof Tshilidzi Marwala (Vice-Chancellor and Principal), Prof Andre Swart (Chief Operating Officer), Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic), Ms Nolwazi Mamorare (Chief Financial Officer) and Dr Nolitha Vukuza (Senior Executive Director: University Relations), attended the event.

Prof Marwala painted a hopeful and encouraging picture on sport in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, citing acceding to vaccines as an immediate solution for a return to normal sporting activities. “If you are a football fanatic, you probably watched the Euro 2021 matches green with envy as the stadiums filled with tens of thousands of unmasked spectators who were allowed to attend football matches because they were fully vaccinated.

“Back here at home, in South Africa, there are many challenges regarding the pandemic. Although a small number of fans have now been allowed to go to the stadiums, the country is still lagging behind concerning vaccines and a fourth wave is expected to hit soon. So, please get vaccinated so that we can return to our normal daily lives as soon as possible,” he said.

Guest speaker, Pieter du Preez, shared his inspirational life story as an athlete who won many accolades despite being a paraplegic athlete. DU Preez added to South Africa’s medal tally after winning a gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games in August this year. He won a gold medal in the Men’s H1 time trial at the famous track. Despite getting injured in August last year, Pieter du Preez also brought home gold and silver medals after stellar performances in the 2021 Para-cycling Road World Championships in Cascais, Portugal. He took first position in the road race and came second in the time trial.

Winners of the 2021 UJ Sport Awards were as follows:

Coaches and staff commendations:

Bongiwe Msomi, a UJ Netball club manager and head coach for winning the JNA Twizza League.
Taren Naidoo was the performance analyst for the South African Senior Women’s Hockey Team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Pierre Blignaunt was the coach for Team South Africa Athletics Throws in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Nhlanhla Ndlovu is a UJ Sport Physiotherapist who was part of the Bafana Bafana camps that won the 2021 COSAFA Cup.
Delisile Mbatha for winning R10, 000 prize money after she was honoured for her impact as a football player and coach as well as developing football at grassroots level in the Amajuba District in the KwaZulu Natal Province well in sport development.
Sizwe Ndlovu for being appointed as a member of the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Athlete Commission.
Elize Le Roux a UJ Basketball Club manager who served as a Technical Official in a series involving the South African Men’s Senior Hockey Team and Namibia.
Tumelo Leseke a UJ Senior Women’s Rugby Team Manager who helped the Mastercard Golden Lions Women defend their 2019 Women’s First Division title in July 2021.
Thuso Moiloa is a UJ Basketball Assistant Coach who has was appointed to coach the NW Eagles in the Basketball National League South Africa (BNLSA).
Mandla Ngema is the UJ Basketball head coach who won the 2021 USSA Coach of the Tournament.
Age Category Sportswoman Award for 2021:

Michelle Moganedi: participates in wheelchair basketball, won a bronze medal.
Monica Gomases: a netball player, won a silver medal.
Dane Roets: participates in athletics , won a gold medal.
Age Category Sportsman Award for 2021:

– Siyemukela Ndlovu: UJ Rugby team player and is the SA U-20 Vice-captain, won a gold medal.

Club Sportsperson of the year Award for 2021:

Maria Combrink: a UJ para-club athlete and current World Record holder in Shotput para-athletes, won a bronze medal.
Toni Marks: a UJ Hockey player who represented SA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, won silver medal.
Pieter Du Preez: UJ quadriplegic alumnus and current club member, won a gold medal.

Student-Athlete Award:

Michelle Moganedi: won a bronze medal.

Jivanka Kruger: hockey player, won a silver medal.

Kristen Paton: hockey player, won a gold medal.

Sportswoman and Sportsman Awards 2021:

Boitumelo Mahloko: a netball player, won a bronze medal.
Nicolaas Jacobs: a hockey player, won a bronze medal.

Jivanka Kruger: a hockey player, won a silver medal.
Jason Van Rooyen: athletics, won a silver medal.

Kristen Paton, won a gold medal;
Ronald Brown, won a gold medal