This year’s South African Navy Awards ceremony was highlighted by the Guest of Honour, Olympic champion Caster Semenya.
The South African Navy Awards is an annual event whereby the Chief of the Navy honours sailors that distinguished themselves in various sport codes. This year’s ceremony was held on Friday.
Master of Ceremony Captain T J Dlamini called upon the stage Chief Naval Staff Rear Admiral R Higgs to hand over the special awards on behalf of the Chief of the Navy, who could not attend due to other commitments.
“The SA Navy is committed to support any sport as it promotes excellent team work and enhances discipline,” said Higgs.
Asked how she feels about being the Guest of Honour at this prestigious event, Semenya said that “It is an honour for me to be hosted by these great sailors, and most inspiring to see that these people do not only protect us, but they take sports seriously and I am humbled”.
The Sportsman of the year was awarded to Able Seaman S A Zungu, and the Sportswoman of the year was awarded to Sub-Lieutenant E Van De Vyver.
After the presentation of all awards, lunch was served and sailors interacted with Caster. She then proceeded to SAS Spioenkop for a tour, followed by a submarine visit onboard SAS Queen Modjadji I.
“I am so happy to finally meet Caster and she’s an inspiration to me” said Leading Seaman T. Mtshweni, one of the award recipients. Asked if she was nervous about going on a boat ride, Semenya said that “I can’t wait to go out at sea, if I fall off the boat, I will defiantly survive, even though I am not such a good swimmer!”