Mawande Mateza27 February 2024 | 9:09

Springboks, Kirsten Neuschafer, Siya Kolisi make the cut for Laureus World Sports Awards nominations

Springboks, Kirsten Neuschafer, Siya Kolisi make the cut for Laureus World Sports Awards nominations

Captains of the South Africa rugby team Siyamthanda “Siya” Kolisi. Picture credit: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and South African sailor Kirsten Neuschafer are nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards that were announced on Monday.

The awards are considered the highest honour in sports and the 25th edition of the prestigious ceremony will be held in Madrid on April 22.

The Springboks are in the Team of the Year category after winning their second successive Webb-Ellis Cup at the Rugby World Cup in France last year. The Boks previously bagged the cup in 2007 and 2019 following their World Cup triumphs in those years as well. 

They will be competing with the Red Bull Formula 1 team, Europe's Ryder Cup outfit, Spain's Women's World Cup winning side and Germany’s Men’s Basketball team for the prize. 

Bok captain Kolisi had a remarkable year on and off the field in 2023.

He sustained a serious knee injury while playing in the URC for the Sharks in April and looked set to miss the title defence at the World Cup after he had surgery. His miraculous recovery from that injury earned him a Comeback of the Year nomination. 

Kolisi’s category includes Ivorian forward Sébastien Haller who won the recently concluded AFCON after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2022.

World champion gymnast Simone Biles, heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Wimbledon winner Markéta Vondroušová and NBA star Jamal Murray are also on the list after they came back from medical issues and injuries to ascend to the top of their respective sporting codes.

Neuschafer became the first woman to win a solo sailing round-the-world race in The Golden Globe Race and is in line for the World Action Sportsperson of the Year prize.

Justice Desk Africa, which uses sport to empower youth in South Africa to understand and defend their human rights, is on the shortlist for the Laureus Sport for Good award.


Laureus World Sportsman of the Year nominees: Novak Djokovic (Tennis); Mondo Duplantis (Athletics); Erling Haaland (Football), Noah Lyles (Athletics), Lionel Messi (Football); Max Verstappen (Motor racing)

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year nominees: Aitana Bonmati (Football), Shericka Jackson (Athletics), Faith Kipyegon (Athletics), Sha'Carri Richardson (Athletics), Mikaela Shiffrin (Alpine skiing), Iga Swiatek (Tennis)

Laureus World Team of the Year nominees: Europe Ryder Cup team (Golf), Germany men's basketball team, Manchester City (Football), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team (Austria), South Africa Springboks (Rugby union), Spain women's football team

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year nominees: Jude Bellingham (Football), Linda Caicedo (Football); Coco Gauff (Tennis), Qin Haiyang (Swimming), Josh Kerr (Athletics), Salma Paralluelo (Football)

Laureus World Comeback of the Year nominees: Simone Biles (Artistic gymnastics), Sebastien Haller (Football), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Athletics), Siya Kolisi (Rugby union), Jamal Murray (Basketball), Marketa Vondrousova (Tennis)

Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability nominees: Simone Barlaam (Para swimming), Danylo Chufarov (Para swimming), Diede de Groot (Wheelchair tennis), Luca Ekler (Para-athletics), Nicole Murray (Para cycling), Markus Rehm (Para-athletics)

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year nominees: Rayssa Leal (Skateboarding), Caroline Marks (Surfing), Kirsten Neuschafer (Sailing), Bethany Shriever (BMX racing), Filipe Toledo (Surfing), Arisa Trew (Skateboarding)

Laureus Sport for Good Award nominees: Bola Pra Frente (Multi-sport / employability), Dancing Grounds (Dancing / social integration), Fundacion Rafa Nadal (Multi-sport / education), ISF Cambodia (Football/education), Justice Desk Africa (Multi-sport / human rights), Obiettivo Napoli (Multi-sport / inclusion).