First Annual Dome Sports Awards

The Dome Swakopmund hosted its first ever Dome Sports Awards in an effort to acknowledge all athletes and officials who participate in active sports code in Namibia’s biggest and most modern sporting facility.

2018 saw some great achievements accomplished by Dome athletes and officials. Africa Champions, Zone-6-Winners, COSSASA top achievers and tons of national titles were shared among the group of talented and special sports people that call The Dome their home.
The Dome Swakopmund felt that these achievements needed to be rewarded and recognized, irrespective of other awards they might have received before on different platforms.
Criteria were drawn up, nominees requested by the individual sports codes and the painstaking process working through the lists went underway. The judge’s panel, headed by Buttons Heyns with the assistance of Dave Hammond and Arne Putensen, took up work and started comparing the finalists with great attention to detail. After a couple of heated exchanges between the trio, the winners were determined, and the respective certificates printed. The show was on and thanks to the sponsors Bon Hotel Swakopmund, The Dome Serenity Spa, Pure Bliss Hair Salon and Nautilus Studios, The Dome was able to hand out some great prizes.
The evening exceeded expectation as more than 80 people flocked to The Locker Room Sports Bar and Lounge at The Dome to witness this milestone.
Much of the spotlight of the night was on Emile Pitt. The poster boy of the Swakopmund Gymnastics Club broke onto the stage in style this year. After winning a gold medal on the vault during the Africa Championships in front of his home crowd at The Dome, Pitt went on to win another gold medal for vault at the Youth Africa Games in Algeria as well as claiming a second place on floor at the same competition. At the same time, he dominated the Namibian national scene.
His accolades earned him the Sports Person of the Year and the Male Senior Athlete of the Year award on the evening. In the Female Senior Athlete of the Year category, Karateka Mayvonne Swart took top honours after a year to remember. Two times silverware at the UKF Championships in Rwanda, two more at the AUSC Region 5 Games in Botswana as well as one at the Africa Youth Games made her the best candidate on the international stage. Various local accolades added to her almost impeccable year.
Competition was fierce among the juniors. The title for Female Junior Athlete of the Year eventually went to athletics superstar Chrislene Klein-Nienaber. By clinching the first place for high and long jump, as well as 80m hurdles at the COSSASA Games in Botswana, Chrislene also secured the awards for Victrix Ludorum, Best Track Athlete and Best Field Athlete at said event. On a national level, no one could compete with the Swakopmunder in her three top divisions as she cruised from victory to victory.
Similar achievements graced the CV of up and coming inline hockey crack Ruben Bacher. His excellent ability allowed the youngster to win three medals at the national championships in three different age categories. He was further selected to represent his country on junior and senior level during the World Skate Inline Championship in Barcelona next year, while also being handed the Most Valuable Player trophy from his home club, the Coastal Pirates this year.
Gymnastics added another two prizes to their club when Matt Gabriel was declared winner of the Star of the Year category while Else !Naibas secured the Rising Star of the Year trophy. The Star of the Year award was reserved for those athletes that separate from the rest by dedication and passion for their sport, rather than by medals. Gymnast !Naibas was awarded this prize together with inline hockey ace Arian van der Plas in recognition of their future potential. “This was a category reserved for those athletes that will play a huge role in the future of The Dome Sports Awards. They are the future”, Hammond remarked.
Karate scooped up the Coach of the Year through Valdemar Swart. Among his success were 9 medals that his athletes won at the Region 5 Championships in Botswana, the first ever medal for a Namibian Karate ace at the African Youth Games in Algeria as well as leading the first ever Namibian Karateka to the WKF World Championships in Madrid, Spain.
Games and competitions are often decided by referees. In acknowledgment of their often-undervalued contributions to their sports, The Dome also handed out an award for the most outstanding umpire of the year, which went to Theresa Swart for karate.
With all their 14 teams winning medals during the 2018 season, the Coastal Pirates Inline Hockey Club was voted as Club of the Year, while their U12A team got the top place for Team of the Year.
Overview of the finalists (Winners highlighted in bolt):
Sports Person of the Year:
Emile Pitt (Artistic Gymnastics) – Chrislene Klein-Nienaber (Athletics) – Mayvonne Swart (Karate) – Ruben Bacher (Inline Hockey)
Star of the Year:
Matt Gabriel (Artistic Gymnastics) – Chrislene Klein-Nienaber (Athletics) – Ruben Bacher (Inline Hockey)
Male Senior Athlete of the Year:
Emile Pitt (Artistic Gymnastics) – Rohan Kotze (Kick Boxing) – Tiago Kutz (Inline Hockey)
Female Senior Athlete of the Year:
Lizette Rottcher (Inline Hockey) – Elisbe Swanepol (Artistic Gymnastics) – Mayvonne Swart (Karate)
Male Junior Athlete of the Year:
Sean Liechti (Inline Hockey) – Dylan Kreiner (Rock Climbing)
Female Junior Athlete of the Year:
Chrislene Klein-Nienaber (Athletics) – Corinna Weimann (Inline Hockey) – Jocelynn Mungunda (Artistic Gymnastics)
Rising Star of the Year:
Else !Naibas (Artistic Gymanstics) – Arian van der Plas (Inline Hockey)
Volunteer of the Year:
Anne Bonfert (Rock Climbing) – Christofina Gawanas (Artistic Gymnastics) – Paula Classen (Dome Athletes Program) – Glynis Bacher (Inline Hockey)
Coach of the Year:
Brian Sobel (Inline Hockey) – Valdemar Swart (Karate) – Dione Dichtl (Artistic Gymnastics)
Development Project of the Year:
Rock Climbing trips to Spitzkoppe – Dongina Risser Gymnastics Foundation – parkrun
Referee of the Year:
Marco Debortoli (Inline Hockey) – Theresa Swart (Karate) – Dongina Risser (Artistic Gymnastics)
Club of the Year:
Swakopmund Gymnastics Club – Coastal Pirates Inline Hockey Club
Team of the Year:
Under 12A Coastal Pirates Team

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