Wits duo shine at 2017 Gauteng Sport Awards
- Tshepiso Mametela
The Wits pair of Tang Soo Do star Tanita Ramburuth-Hurt and SA Paralympic athlete Maria Combrink shone brightest for Wits at the 2017 Gauteng Sport Awards.
BRAAMFONTEIN – The Wits pair of Tang Soo Do front runner, Tanita Ramburuth-Hurt and disabled sportswoman star, Maria Combrink outshone the competition at the coveted 2017 Gauteng Sport Awards on 1 October.
The winners were revealed at a black tie gala event held at the Silverstar Casino in Krugersdorp, and will qualify as automatic finalists for the South African (SA) Sport Awards in November. Ramburuth-Hurt scooped the Sportswoman of the Year award in a category that featured Gauteng volleyball ace Neila Tembe and senior South African football star, Janine van Wyk, while Combrink walked off with the Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability accolade.
Combrink's illustrious year on the field saw her compete in the non-medalling 2016 ParAthletics Swiss Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland and claim gold in the women's F44 discus and shotput events at the 2017 Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled. She subsequently made the South Africa team to compete at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London, where she earned 4th and 7th place finishes in the F44 shotput and discus events, respectively.
Meanwhile, Ramburuth-Hurt, who holds a 4th Gup (a varied colored belt) in combat Tang Soo Do, said she did not expect to win in what, for her, was a tough category. "I was definitely shocked. I was not expecting to win at all [since] I was up against some really incredible sportswomen – who've made names for themselves in their respective sporting codes," said Ramburuth-Hurt.
"I would love to get as far as I can in Tang Soo Do, so my main goal at the moment is to grow in the sport. Winning this award will also equip me with enough publicity to get more woman involved in the sport and up the profile of combat Tang Soo Do in the country." She added, "I don't think I can say that I'm confident to win at the SA Sport Awards considering how surprised I was that I managed to win the Gauteng Sportswoman of the Year." Despite this, Ramburuth-hurt next has her sights set on the World Tang Soo Do Championships in London next year.
Her dazzling list of accolades include three gold medals at the South African Tang Soo Do Championships and one at the Arnold Classic National All-Styles martial arts tournament in 2017. At the 10th World Martial Arts Games in October last year, Ramburuth-Hurt achieved four gold medals to go along with silver and bronze medal placings.