Springbok eighthman Duane Vermeulen and the Commonwealth Games gold medal winning Springbok Sevens team have been nominated for South African Sports Awards, the Department of Sport and Recreation South African (SRSA) announced on Wednesday. Vermeulen has been nominated in the category of Sports Star of the Year. He will be up against Ernst Van Dyk (wheelchair marathon athlete), Chad Le Clos (swimming), Portia Modise (soccer), Khotso Mokoena (track & field) and AB De Villiers (cricket).
The Blitzbokke, who won the HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas last season, and their coach, Neil Powell, also received nominations. The Springbok Sevens team have been shortlisted in the category for Team of the Year. The other nominees in this category are Lawn Bowls and the SA Under-19 cricket team.
Powell is one of the nominees for Coach of the Year alongside Shakes Mashaba (Bafana Bafana) and Graham Hill (swimming). The South African Sports Awards have been created to recognise and honour individuals and teams who have excelled both on and off the field between 1 October 2013 and 31 August 2014. Candidates for the awards are nominated by the National Sports Federations, the sports media and the SA Sports Awards Voting Panel.
The South African Sports Awards will take place on 30 November at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Photo: Duane Vermeulen (right) has been nominated for the SA Sports Awards Sports Star of the Year.