Johannesburg - Sports and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula has launched the 2013 SA Sports Awards on Wednesday.
Mbalula made the announcement on Metro FM, accompanied by reigning SA Sport Star of the Year, Chad le Clos, and Lucas Sithole, US and British Open wheelchair tennis champion.
The SA Sports Awards are a partnership between the Department of Sport and Recreation, Sascoc and the SABC.
Sithole was presented with a cheque for R50 000 for winning the two championships.
"The awards are aimed at celebrating sporting excellence on and off the field," said Mbalula.
"They are about contributing through social cohesion and nation building and inspiring a generation of high achievers in sport."
More than 19 categories will form part of the 2013 Awards.
They include Sport Star of the Year; School team of the year; Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year; Developing school team of the Year; Indigenous Games star of the year; Sportsman and Sportswoman with disability; Volunteer of the year; Coach of the Year; Administrator of the Year; Team of the Year; and a new category for the most transformed federation of the Year.
There are also Minister's Awards, which include Excellence Awards, the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achiever Award and the Andrew Mlangeni Legends Green Jacket.
The nominees will be announced on Wednesday, October 16.
The Sport Star of the year Award will be open for public participation by voting through a sms line.
In an effort to encourage sports development and help unearth talent in the previously disadvantaged communities, the Department will be embarking on a Community Outreach Programme in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and North West, prior to the Awards Ceremony.
Welcoming the announcement, Sascoc president Gideon Sam said the SA Sports Awards were an opportunity to recognise all sportsmen and women.
"The awards also recognise federations and administrators," he said.
"It is through their efforts that SA sport is growing from strength to strength."
"The SABC is proud to partner with this initiative that celebrates sporting excellence whilst contributing to sports development in our society," said SABC group chief executive Lulama Makhubo.
"We promise to deliver a world class production to our viewers as we celebrate our sporting icons.
"We would also like to urge the public to make use of the sms line that will be on our screen, in due course, to vote for the Sport Star of the year Award."