The winner of Shoprite Checkers-SABC2 Woman of the Year award in the sport category, professor Sherylle Calder, says the acknowledgement has been "truly motivational".
Accepting the 2008 award in the sport category, Calder said being nominated, especially in a new field of sport science that has new trials and tribulations, was a real accolade.
"One doesn't always know what the next step is, with the result that one's naivety can also be abused.
"I am sure that I can learn much more and share the results with more sports people and maybe even beyond the sporting field," Calder said.
Calder is a visual performance skills coach and world authority on the subject who has the distinction of having received back-to-back Rugby World Cup winners' medals after being part of the coaching staff for both the triumphant Springboks last year and the victorious England team of 2003.
The professor worked with and coached some of the world's top rugby, cricket, hockey, tennis, golf, shooting, badminton and sailing teams - helping them to find an extra edge and dimension in their game.
Between 1982 and 1996, she represented South Africa in hockey, gaining 50 international field hockey caps and 15 indoor caps.
Recognition as one of the top players of her era came in 1995 when Calder was selected to the team comprising the top 11 players in the pre-Olympic qualifying hockey tournament.
She has also coached hockey extensively and was involved with South African Under-21 team, was head coach of Western Province and head coach at Stellenbosch University.