- Adeyinka Akintunde
JOHN Mikel Obi, Super Eagles Captain has won the award for captain of the year at the Nigerian Awards for Sporting Excellence.
The event, which took place at the Osun Hall of the Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, also saw Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles midfielder Victor Moses, Super Falcons Striker Asisat Oshoala, Table Tennis legend, Haruna Quadri clinch awards
Governor of Akwa Ibom State was also awarded as the Nigerian Pillar of Sports at the event.
Taye Ige, chairman of the occasion, in his speech, lamented the shoddy state of sports in Nigeria today, but heaped praises on those who, in spite of the odds, rose to become excellent in their beats.
“The winners of the award today are to be commended for their potential to contribute to sports excellence. To say that the story of sports in our country is one of underachievement at best is to say the obvious. In virtually all areas, we are confronted with tales of what is clearly possible and achievable but which painfully are not. And we are traumatised, especially when we see how easily these things are accomplished in other climes.
“In the Olympics, for instance, when last did Nigeria have a creditable outing after the 1996 Atlanta Games where we won two Gold, one Silver and three Bronze medals? I can just remind us that while we returned with a lone bronze medal in the last Games in Rio, Brazil, Great Britain, which placed four positions below Nigeria at the Atlanta Games in which it won only one Gold, eight Silver and six Bronze medals came second on the overall medals table in Rio with a haul of 27 Gold medals!
“We are only therefore forced to be elated by a few bright spots on the otherwise very gloomy horizon. Here, the likes of Odunayo Adekuoroye in wrestling, Haruna Quadri in table tennis, female footballer Asisat Oshoala, the Tigers, the Tigress and the current sterling performances of the Super Eagles in qualifying for Russia 2018 with a blistering, unbeaten, run come to mind. Some of these stars are instructively put up for honours this evening. My hope and that of Isaac and his Team is that this will spur them to greater heights of excellence.”
Kashimawo Laloko, former technical director, of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, also attended the event
Winners of the award thanked the organizers for the award, promising to do much more in their bits to promote sports in Nigeria.
Those that won include:
Sports Person of the Year: Haruna Quadri
Footballer of the Year: Victor Moses
Captain of the Year: John Mikel Obi
Female Footballer of the Year: Asisat Oshoala
Sports Hero of the Year: Carl Ikeme
Footballer of the Year (Africa): Ikechukwu Ezenwa
Coach of the Year: Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles Technical Adviser
Club Manager of the Year: Mohammed Zanna, El Kanemi FC Chairman
Sports Administrator of the Year: Chief (Mrs.) Dili Onyedinma, FCT Sports Director
Outstanding Personality of the Year: Chief (Barr.) Henry Agbamu
Grassroot Sports Promoter of the Year: Chief Doughlas Idahosa, BJ Foundation FC Chairman
National Team of the Year: D’Tigers Basketball team
Football Club of the Year: Plateau United
– Dec. 4, 2017 @ 09:00 GMT