Siya Kolisi shortlisted for Laureus Award
January 08, 2019
On Saturday June 9, Siya Kolisi made history when he ran out at Emirates Airline Park to become the first black captain to lead the Springboks in a Test match. He has been shortlisted for the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year Award.

To vote for Siya, visit myLaureus.com.

The fact that Siya was donning the No 6 jersey, the number famously worn by Nelson Mandela at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, just added significance to the remarkable moment for the Springboks and South Africa as a nation.

Siya’s story is one of overcoming adversity and succeeding against the odds. He was born in the township of Zwide near Port Elizabeth, and his young mother and grandmother struggled to put food on the table each day. “Times were tough when I was little and often there wasn’t food. I would go to bed starving,” Siya said.

The 27-year-old’s incredible rise from poverty to captaining his country is proof that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

“I don’t shy away from where I have come from and I’m aware that my story is a typical South African story in some ways. It’s my motivation,” said Siya.

“Yes, being a professional sportsman can be tough and occasionally you question if it’s all worth it. But then I just think about where I’ve come from and about the people that look up to me.”

Kolisi's rise to the top is one of 10 heartwarming sporting stories that will be going head-to-head in another public vote, from 7 January to 4 February, at myLaureus.com.

The Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year will be announced and presented at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco on 18 February 2019.

Every month between March and December 2018, fans have been choosing their favourite Laureus Sporting Moment of the Month. Each moment is an inspiring story from beyond the field of play that demonstrates the power of sport to make a positive impact in the world.

It’s now decision time as the ten winning moments go up against each other in a public vote to see who will be crowned the overall Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year.

When voting stops on 4 February 2019, the top three contenders will be invited to the Laureus World Sports Awards, taking place on 18 February in Monaco, where the winner will be announced.

The contenders are:

SVEN HANNAWALD AND KAMIL STOCH - WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Sven, the first man to win all four events of the Four Hills tournament, was commentating in Bischofshofen, Austria and witnessed Kamil making history and becoming the second man to win all four events. Instinctively, Sven left his commentary position and rushed down to personally congratulate Kamil. In an act of respect and sportsmanship, Sven welcomed Kamil to his exclusive ski jumping club.

DODDIE WEIR - GIANT OF A MAN
Doddie, who has 61 caps for Scotland moved rugby fans around the world when he delivered the match ball for the Scotland v New Zealand match in November 2017. He is now raising funds and awareness through his My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

JOE THOMPSON - A WEMBLEY DREAM
Having beaten Hodgkin lymphoma twice, Joe made an emotional return to play for Rochdale in their FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, realising a dream of playing at the National Stadium.

XIA BOYU - A CHALLENGE OF FATE
In 1975, Xia Boyu lost his feet after giving his sleeping bag to a sick teammate during a high-altitude storm. Now aged 69, he has become only the second double amputee to scale Everest; and the first ever from the Nepalese side.

SIYA KOLISI - UNTING A RAINBOW NATION
Siya made history earlier this year when he became the first black African to captain the Springboks in a Test, leading his team out against England at Ellis Park in June.

GILBERTO MARTINEZ - WORLD CUP REQUIEM
Gilberto had planned to take his family to cheer on their home country at the World Cup in Russia last summer, but they were tragically killed in a car accident before the tournament. His therapist suggested he make the trip anyway, as part of his grief process. He took his therapist’s advice, winning friends and admiration from around the world.

EDWARD MILLS - THIS IS FOR YOU, MUM
When Edward Mill’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he took on an incredible challenge to raise money for cancer research; becoming the youngest person to climb the Old Man of Hoy, a 137m sea stack near Orkney. Edward completed the climb, raising over £35,000; a fitting tribute to his late mother.

PATRICK TAYLOR - THE UNPLAYABLE DELIVERY
BBC Radio’s Test Match Special is something of an institution in the sport of cricket. So, when Patrick Taylor’s cricket-mad father passed away, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. His moving tribute, laden with cricket references, was read out on air by commentator Jonathan Agnew, touching the heart of sports fans all over the world.

PETER THOMPSON – TOUR DE FORCE
Incredibly, Peter ran the route of the Tour de France, covering the 2,082 miles in 68 days. Arriving on the Champs Elysees in Paris just three days before the Tour de France peloton, Peter’s epic achievement was made even sweeter by his fundraising achievements: he raised over £20,000 for his mental health awareness programme, Marathons for the Mind.

PAUL GUEST AND EDWIN VERMETTEN – COMRADES IN ARMS
The spirit of the Invictus Games was epitomised during the Wheelchair Tennis doubles. When a nearby helicopter triggered Paul Guest’s PTSD, it was his doubles partner who talked – and sang – him through it. The unusual choice of song (‘Let it Go’ from the Disney film Frozen) helped Paul get through the moment and the pair went on to win their match.

To view these emotional and engaging Moments and VOTE for your favourite, visit http://www.myLaureus.com.