Cape Town - The second annual star-studded BrightRock Players Choice Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre tonight honoured and acknowledged professional South African rugby players.
As it happened: Brightrock Players Choice Awards
Malcom Marx walked away with the coveted 2018 Players’ Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of Springbok rugby captain, Siya Kolisi, who nabbed the prestigious award in 2017.
Marx also took the Forward of the Year award.
Other winners named on the night were: Aphiwe Dyantyi, who walked away with both the Backline Player of the Year and the #LoveChange Award for the player that has made great strides in his rugby career over the past year; Pieter-Steph du Toit as Defender of the Year; and Zain Davids as Best off the Bench.
The winners were decided by South Africans professional rugby players in a voting process which was run by MyPlayers, the South African rugby players’ organisation.
Hacjivah Dayimani scooped the Fans’ Choice Award, the only award voted for by the public, and secured R50 000 for his chosen charity. He teamed up with celebrity partner, Thomas Gumede, to campaign for the award on the BrightRock Players Choice Awards Facebook page.
The Touch Rugby Sunday group has long made charity a prerogative, supporting a number of organisations through blanket drives and food donations; and this year in particular, they focused their efforts on the Home of Hope NPO, which receives R50 000, because of Hacjivah’s outstanding efforts.
The awards evening was attended by players, celebrities and fans from all over the country.
Event MCs Siv Ngesi and Leandie du Randt Bosch complemented each other with their wit and repartee throughout the show. This year, a wide range of musicians, including Jack Parrow, Tarryn Lamb and Refentse performed during the event, which was livestreamed on Sport24.
There was not a dry eye in the room when young Stefan Benz gave a heart-warming performance. Even star rugby players SP Marais, Hacjivah Dayimani, Elton Jantjies and Ivan van Zyl, took to the stage to perform, proving that many rugby players have other hidden talents. On stage to help hand over the awards were well-known celebrities including Thapelo Mokoena, Lunga Tshabalala and Francois van Coke.
South Africa’s professional rugby players donated R70 000 out of the players’ collective income to the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund in support of rugby players who have sustained catastrophic head, neck or spinal cord injuries while on the field.
“We are very excited as players’ organisation to be part of such a great event where the players themselves get the opportunity to acknowledge their peers, to give back to charity and also to celebrate with their loyal fans. On behalf of MyPlayers, we would like to congratulate Malcolm Marx on receiving the highest award of the night and also praise the players on a well-deserved season,” said Eugene Henning, Chief Executive Officer of MyPlayers.
BrightRock executive director, Suzanne Stevens added that the evening tied in with BrightRock’s unique needs-matched offering. “We’re excited to have partnered with the players again this year, as we did last year at the inaugural BrightRock Players Choice Awards. Our goal is to design a needs-matched awards event where the players decide about every aspect – from the awards categories to the winners, to the format of the event – even the entertainment. This is very much aligned with BrightRock’s philosophy, which puts our clients in the driving seat and empowers them to design their own life insurance solution that precisely matches their specific individual needs. In the process, clients remove wasted cover and get better, much better, value for their money. So, it’s all about putting change back in our clients’ pockets – and that just one of the reasons we at BrightRock love change!”
BrightRock Players Choice Awards Winners
Best Of The Bench
Nominees: Akker van der Merwe, Steven Kitshoff, Marnus Schoeman, Zain Davids
The #LoveChange Award
Nominees: Aphiwe Dyantyi, Damian Willemse, Lukhanyo Am, Selvyn Davids
Defender Of The Year
Pieter-Steph du Toit
Nominees: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi, Werner Kok
Forward Of The Year
Nominees: Malcolm Marx, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit
Backline Player Of The Year
Nominees: Aphiwe Dyantyi, Damian Willemse, Lukhanyo Am, Zenay Jordaan (Women's 7s)
Fans' Choice Award
Nominees: Hacjivah Dayimani, Werner Kok, Damian Willemse, Warrick Gelant
Players' Player Of The Year
Nominees: Malcolm Marx, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi