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23 Sep, 2015

Go William GO!

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William Mokgopo at the SA MTB CUP #4; Cascades MTB Park, Pietermaritzburg, June 2015. Photograph by Boogs Photography

Professional mountain biker William Mokgopo has been nominated for Sport Personality of the Year in the 2015 Gauteng Sport Awards.

The awards are part of Gauteng Provincial Government's drive to create an environment that is conducive to the development of sporting excellence, recognition of talent and inspiration of future generations.

The Sport Personality of the Year Award recognises an athlete who is a positive influence on the youth and a role model for South African sport. It is one of three categories that will be determined by public vote (including Sports Fan and Sports Programme of the Year). Previous winners of the category include footballer Teko Modise (2014) and athlete Samkelo Radebe (2013).


“Sport has always been a part of who I am,” says William. “Growing up, it gave me hope for a better future and I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given to pursue my dream of being a professional sportsman.”


“I am honoured to be nominated for these awards and I hope that my story will inspire other young stars to work hard and stay focused on their goals. I’m just trying to prove that, no matter where you come from or what you think society dictates for you, anything is possible.”


To vote for William “Weeleeyum” Mokgopo to win Sport Personality of the Year 2015 SMS ‘01’ to 33525.


In the last year*, William has shown an incredible level of commitment to serving sport in his country in various ways.


He was signed to the Kargo Pro MTB Team in May 2014 and shortly thereafter won the U23 Men Gauteng XCO Champion title. He represented South Africa at both the UCI MTB World Championships in Norway in September 2014 and the UCI MTB African Continental Championships in Rwanda in May 2015.


In addition to riding for a pro-team and studying a full-time B. Sport Science degree at the University of Pretoria, William was involved in a number of community initiatives in the Gauteng province.
He led the Diepsloot MTB Academy riders on a 10km cycle to hand over the World AIDS Day commemoration torch to the MMC for Health and Social Development, Cllr. Melina Gomba, at the Sedibeng Local AIDS Council in November last year.


William served on the Cycle Jozi organising committee working together with GEKCO, the Greater Kyalami Conservancy, to coordinate the Fourways-Diepsloot Cycle Activation during Cycle Jozi Week in March 2015 - an event which aimed to increase awareness of bicycles as a form of transport and recreation and to encourage safe cycling in the Fourways-Diepsloot area.


In October 2014 he was selected as a Beyond Sport Young Ambassador to represent Johannesburg in the global Beyond Sport network. William was a guest speaker for two panel discussions on youth leadership in sport, and was also honoured to share the stage with founder and director of the Beyond Sport programme, Nick Keller, during the annual Beyond Sport Summit which took place over two years in Johannesburg for the first time last year.

Follow William on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Blog, and Instagram.
For more information about the awards visit www.gautengsportawards.co.za.

*The awards are based on the period June 2014 – May 2015.