On Thursday 15 December, Minister of Sport Ben Weyts will present the four Flemish Sport Jewels. Cast your vote here and help determine who will be Top Sports Coach, Top Sports Enhancer and Warmest Sports Initiative of the Year. And above all: who can take home the Flemish Sport Jewel for the Best Top Sports Performance of 2022.

Sporza visitors certainly have something to eat at the Flemish Sportjuwelen. The professional jury already handed out 200 points, spread over the three nominees in each category. You decide together with the other Sporza voters how the remaining 100 points are distributed.

Best Top Sport Achievement

This trophy can only be awarded once to the same person, organization or team. Bart Swings, Olympic champion in the mass start in speed skating, already received that honor in 2014.

That only eased the jury’s task a bit, because in 2022 many Flemish athletes recorded top performances. Nevertheless, the jury succeeded in narrowing down the longlist of candidates to these three nominees.

  • Remco Evenepoel
    Liège-Bastogne-Liège, San Sebastian, Vuelta, World Cycling Championships. This is the unique four-leaf clover that Evenepoel has carved into the memory of every sports enthusiast forever. But he also took 11 other victories. A year with a cannibalistic side.
  • Lotte Kopecky
    In 2022, it rained World Cup medals for Lotte Kopecky: silver on the road race in Wollongong and double gold on the World Championship track cycling in Paris (with Shari Bossuyt in the team race and solo in the elimination). She was also dominant in the classic spring, with great victories in Strade Bianche and the Tour of Flanders.
  • Emma Plasschaert
    Just before the turn of the year, Emma Plasschaert won her second world title in the ILCA 6 class. She also won medals at the most recent World Cup, in Houston in October: Plasschaert sailed to bronze.

Top sports coach of the year

Who pushed his or her athletes to great achievements in 2022 and become the Top sports coach of the year? Get to know this internationally tinted trio of nominees.

  • Mark Little John
    Mark is the sailing coach of Emma Plasschaert and Eline Verstraelen, who are both active in the ILCA 6 class. A champion breeder, because Emma became world champion at the end of 2021 and Eline won World Cup gold among the juniors (U21) in August of this year.
  • Fernando Oliva
    The Argentinian coach of heptathlete Noor Vidts (gold in the pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships) and the counselor of many other Belgian heathathletes. Oliva is the driving force behind the all-around project of the Flemish Athletics League and is known for his energetic coaching style. Outside athletics, Fernando is, among other things, the physical coach of skeletoni Kim Meylemans.
  • Jelle Spruyt
    The constant factor in Bart Swings’ sports career, who guided him from the sports hall in Heverlee to the world top on rollerblades and on the ice. He draws up the annual planning and monitors the training content. On a strategic level, he analyzes the opposition together with Swings in order to arrive at the best scenarios for success in the mass start.

Top sports amplifier of the year

Top performances are not only the result of the sacrifices of athletes and their coaches, but also of those who – often behind the scenes – do their best to create an ideal climate for top sport. These three professionals have a chance to win the Vlaams Sportjuwewe for Top sports amplifier of the year:

  • John Olbrecht
    As an exercise physiologist, she has been supporting Flemish top athletes for years in disciplines such as swimming, triathlon, running and rowing. He has a doctorate in physiology and biomechanics and in the 1990s developed a unique method to determine anaerobic and aerobic capacity using lactate tests. He wrote down this approach in his book “The Science of Winning”. Jan Olbrecht has also won numerous prizes for sports science research.
  • Martin Thysen
    Physiotherapist with an impressive track record, who founded GRIT Sports Clinic together with Professor Johan Bellemans. He collaborates with various top sports federations and top athletes, especially on injury prevention and rehabilitation. In addition, he takes care of the physical preparation of top players such as Bart Swings and Nafi Thiam. He accompanies the latter at every major tournament. Since Beijing 2008, he has won seven Olympiads with Team Belgium.
  • Peter Van Eenoo
    Belgian scientist who is best known as head of the doping delegation at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. As director of the DoCoLab of Ghent University, he leads one of the world’s most efficient WADA-accredited doping labs. Peter Van Eenoo enjoys a high international reputation as a doping expert and is known for sharing his experience with colleagues from the sector.

Warmest Sports Initiative

Since last year, the sports prizes also look beyond top sport. The Flemish Sport Jewel for it Warmest Sports Initiative wants to honor non-profit organizations that use their sports offerings to also make a social difference.

  • Football Girls Louvain
    FGL gives every girl from Leuven and surroundings the chance to play football. The club tries to remove all financial, sporting and logistical barriers, so that no one is sidelined.
  • Sports club Boezjeern from Eeklo
    An inclusive sports club for adults, with extra attention for vulnerable people. Boezjeern focuses on an accessible and varied range of sports, from petanque to badminton.
  • Triple Challenge from Deinze
    Always healthy, accessible to everyone and only pure nature. Triple Challenge strives for positive impact on three levels with every sporting activity: health, society and planet.

Source: Sporza

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more

Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

Leave a Reply