One has adorned billboards from Cape Town to the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU), the other is a bit more inconspicuous. But there is no denying the impact made by Elmeré van den Berg and Jarred Elliot in their respective sporting codes of netball and badminton during 2023.
They were also rightly honoured as the NWU Potchefstroom Campus Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year. The lanky Elmeré has reached spectacular heights in her young career by representing the Proteas during the locally held Netball World Cup, in addition to excelling in the Spar Protea Diamond Challenge and the Netball Quad Series.
Jarred dominated badminton courts, and his talent shone from the African Badminton Championships in Benoni, South Africa, to the World Badminton Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Both of them, along with Deidré Jordaan (badminton), Jo-Ané van Dyk (javelin), Tamzin Thomas (100 m and 4x100 m), Waldouw Smit (javelin) and Benjamin Richardson (100 m and 4x100 m), also received an Award of Excellence for carrying the flag for the NWU and South Africa on a senior national level. Other awards went to Liezel Gouws, who received the NWU Para-Sports Award after participating in the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris, France, as well as in the SASAPD National Championships, while race walker Janise Nell went home with the award as NWU Junior Sportswoman of the Year.
These, along with a host of other awards, once again showed that there is no stage where athletes or coaches from the NWU are not making a telling impact.
Elmeré van den Berg