DURBAN – The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) bagged the Innovation Award at the KwaZulu-Natal Sport Awards hosted in Durban last Friday.
The Innovation Award is a new category award that was introduced for the first time at this year’s awards. This category is aimed at focusing on original and unprecedented ideas executed during the awards qualification period that was highly affected by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
CMA vice-chairperson Mqondisi Ngcobo welcomed the accolade.
“Recognition of our event and our brand by the government and other influential opinion-makers in the sporting industry is significant.”
He said the award came at a time when the CMA was confronted with the pandemic, which led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 Comrades Marathons.
He added that the CMA looked at what technology could offer and then hosted two virtual events – Race the Comrades Legends and the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge.
CMA General Manager Keletso Totlhanyo also welcomed the award.
“Being presented with a KZN Sport Award is a huge vote of confidence in our race and brand. We are incredibly appreciative to the whole team at Comrades who must take the credit for these achievements. Team Comrades worked incredibly hard at making a success of our virtual events, Race the Comrades Legends last year and the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge this year.
“These proved to be among the world’s most successful virtual sporting events since the onset of Covid-19,” said Totlhanyo.
CMA chairperson Cheryl Winn said the association valued the confidence that the Department of Sport and Recreation as well as the sporting fraternity at large had shown in the CMA.
“We are grateful to everyone who has supported the Comrades Marathon and contributed to this world-class, award-winning event of ours, both in good times and in such a period of a global epidemic that we are now facing,” said Winn.
“We would also like to congratulate all the other sportsmen, sportswomen, media and other individual teams and events who scooped the top honours in the KZN Sport Awards. You are all winners and we celebrate you,” Winn said.