KNYSNA NEWS - The Titans Women's Rugby Academy (WRA) and the Greater Knysna Rugby Club's (GKRC) annual awards ceremony was held recently with players from both clubs being honoured for their achievements throughout the year.
This was the 12th awards evening for Titans WRA since its inception in 2005, and the first for the club. The gala event was held at Vermont Centre in Hornlee.
On Sunday evening 5 November Marlene Adams and Justin Damons came out on top as the rugby player of the year for the respective clubs.
The SA Women's Rugby team's head coach Eddie Myners and Knysna council speaker Georlene Wolmarans attended the function as VIP guests and speakers.
Wolmarans' message to the parents was regarding their role in supporting their kids in sport, while her message to the players related to hard work and dedication.
Myners' message to the players was to dream big and work hard, and the importance of unity – not just in team success but also in individual success.
After the speeches were done and food was served, all the players received their certificates of participation, which saw the "roof being lifted" as players celebrated each other.
All the winners of the various awards: Front from left: Justin Damons; coach Aschin Klein; and Marlene Adams (second row), Cleopatra Prins; Asenathi Mdyseshana; Keyalin Pegram; Nosiphiwo Swards; and Shanine Mostert; (back) Jason Smith; Yamkela Mlanjeni; Nicole Solomons; Siphenathi Yeko; Bonisani Mtiki and Monique Smith.
The awards part of the evening started off with recognition certificates being handed out to players of each club who represented the club in either a provincial or national capacity.
These were players who made it into the SWD EaGirls teams as well as the Springbok teams during the 2017 rugby season.
The good form of Damons this season that earned him the nickname "The Human Bulldozer" because of his destructive power runs either through or over players, led to him receiving the first-ever player of the year award for his club.
Adams, the 2016 Titans WRA player of the year, had an exceptional year for the Titans leading the charge for her club, but also represented the Titans as part of the SWD EaGirls team.
The female version of Bakkies Botha as her opponents will tell you, Adams left her mark this year in such a way that she was also named the SWD EaGirls best forward player of the year 2017 at the SWD Rugby Union's awards evening in October.
"2017 was a great year for both the Titans WRA as well as GKRC, with the Titans finishing as runners-up in the SWD Women's Rugby club competition while Greater Knysna finished third in the SWD Coastal League South section.
"Both Adams and Damons had exceptional seasons and are well-deserved winners of these awards," said coach Aschin Klein.
Provincial recognition: SWD EaGirls
U16: Asenathi Mdyeshana, Tarrin Calvert, Yolandi Portland, Chante Cornelius
U18: Shanine Mostert, Cleopatra Prins, Euzennith Avery, Angelique Stroebel, Desmonita Miller, Zikhona Langbooi
Senior team: Marlene Adams, Monique Smith, Siphenathi Yeko, Faith Gosling, Chanelle Jacobs, Ezryn van Aswegen, Rashieda Saaiman
- Springbok Women's 7s Team: Mathrin Simmers
- Titans WRA players of the year:
- Titans player: Marlene Adams
- 7s: Masakhane Sithole
- U18 & U16 Concordia High School: Shanine Mostert and Asenathi Mdyeshana
- U18 & U16 Knysna Secondary School: Cleopatra Prins and Yolandi Portland
- U14: Nosiphiwo Swarts
- Forward: Monique Smith
- Backline: Nicole Solomons
- Top point scorer: Siphenathi Yeko
- Top try scorer: Faith Gosling
- GKRC players of the year:
- GKRC player: Justin Damons
- Junior: Jason Smith
- 7s: Masakhane Sithole
- Backline: Yamkela Mlanjeni
- Top point scorer: Ludwe Vara
- Top try scorer: Dumani Royi
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