Category Archives: Awards

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR FEMALE WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2019

With just 11 days to go until the World Athletics Awards 2019, the names of the five finalists for the Female World Athlete of the Year 2019 have been confirmed.

The five athletes, who represent five countries from four Area associations, have illustrated excellence across nearly all athletics disciplines in 2019.

The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM)
– won world 100m and 4x100m titles in world-leading times of 10.71 and 41.44
– won Pan-American 200m title
– won seven of her 10 races at 100m

Sifan Hassan (NED)
– won world 1500m and 10,000m titles in world-leading times of 3:51.95 and 30:17.62
– won Diamond League 1500m and 5000m titles
– broke world mile record with 4:12.33 in Monaco

Brigid Kosgei (KEN)
– set a world record of 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon
– won the London Marathon
– ran a world-leading 1:05:28 for the half marathon and 1:04:28 on a downhill course

© AFP / Getty Images

Dalilah Muhammad (USA)
– broke world record with 52.20 at the US Championships
– improved her own world record to win the world 400m hurdles title in 52.16
– won world 4x400m title

Yulimar Rojas (VEN)
– won world triple jump title with 15.37m
– jumped world-leading 15.41m to move to second on the world all-time list
– won nine of her 12 competitions, including the Pan-American Games

Voting procedure for 2019 World Athletes of the Year
A three-way voting process determined the finalists.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via our social media platforms. The Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, while the Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25% of the final result.

Voting for the Female World Athlete of the Year closed on 5 November.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the World Athletics Awards 2019 in Monaco on Saturday 23 November.

World Athletics

D’Tigress, NBBF Bag FIBA Recognition As Sports Minister Lauds NBBF

Another feather was added to the already decorated cap of the Nigeria Basketball Federation in the wee hours of Thursday in China.

The NBBF was recognised as the federation with the Most Improved Women Team between 2017 – 2019 at the plenary session of FIBA Congress and Awards Ceremony which took place in Beijing on Thursday.

Ogunade (Vice President) and Col Sam Ahmedu (rtd) (International Representative) during the celebration witnessed by 156 National Federations.

The women team under the period in review won 2 FIBA Afrobasket championships and became the first African country to qualify for the quarter finals of the 2018 Women World Cup in Spain.

Speaking after the ceremony, Kida said the award is a validation of the improved status of Nigerian basketball since the board was elected in 2017.

“As a board, we have invested our personal money, time and energy in the last 2 years to drive basketball in Nigeria. Earlier in the year, we were celebrated by FIBA Africa which spurred us to do more.”

“We have gone a step further to do more which has once again been rewarded with another AFROBASKET title in Senegal which has seen our unbeaten run in the championship stretching to 14 over the course of 3 championships”, Kida said.

Nigeria Basketball Federation President Kida

An elated Kida thanked every stakeholder who contributed to basketball growth saying the award is just the first of many more to come and a call for more sacrifice from all.

The FIBA Award for success and excellent work was picked up by Kida.

The Minister of Sports, Dare Sunday took to twitter to congratulate the NBBF for elevating basketball since coming into office 2 years ago.

He pledged government’s unflinching support to the board led by Kida saying they are living up to the expectations of Nigerians and sports stakeholders.

Successful Innovations At The 6th Edition Of the African Football Night in Lomé

As a conclusion to 6th edition of The African Football Night, Foot Media Events and the Organising Committee released the key facts and figures of the event held on 27 July in Lomé under the patronage of His Excellency Mr Faure GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic. With 6 awards given to African football legends including Daniel Amokachi, Shabani Nonda, TP Mazembe, Thierno Seydi, Mohamed Aboutrika and Emmanuel Adebayor, 614 participants to the Gala Dinner, a record attendance of 30,000 enthusiastic supporters at the newly inaugurated stadium of Kégué, 15 media partnerships, a panel and a business networking event dedicated to the African sports industry, the 6th edition of The African Football Night is definitely a success.

“The Togolese Republic was very proud to welcome this federating event in its capital, in line with Togo’s wish to host major Pan-African events,” said Folly Bazi Katari, Minister for Communication, Sports and Education to Citizenship of the Togolese Republic. “This event also gave us a great opportunity to present Togo’s efforts to promote sports activities, notably through the construction of new infrastructures and through the development of high-level training activities. Togo is committed to its athletes and federations and is keen to promote the sport industry as a whole,” he added.

A member of the organising committee and director of Impulse Africa, Anne-Elvire Esmel spoke about the innovations of the 6th edition, whose theme was Sport and Development: “First, a business networking event allowed for presenting some key projects of interest to the sports community, including the AfricArena and DiaspoLab funds designed to support initiatives with a strong social and economic impact in Africa, and the MercyShips hospital ship project,” she explained, adding: “We then organised a high-level panel with Joseph-Antoine Bell, Jimmy Adjovi-Boco, Founder of the Diambars Institute, and Samba Bathily, President of the ADS Group, on economic development opportunities in the sector, particularly in terms of training and enhancing sports infrastructure”. These two concepts have been successfully tested and may be repeated again in the future.

“For the organisation of this 6th edition, we have received an incredible support from the Togolese authorities, to whom we are very grateful. The coordination process was very efficient and enabled us to reach a result that was beyond our ambitions. I also want to thank all the teams mobilised in Lome, Abidjan, Ouagadougou, Dakar and Paris for their dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism. The African Football Night demonstrates that we now have the African skills and competences to deliver high quality events on this continent, “said Yves Sawadogo, President of Foot Media Events and promoter of the project. “We want to remain a key milestone in the African sports calendar while becoming a reference platform bringing together sports communities closer to the private sector and public decision-makers, in order to allow for concrete projects in favour of sport in Africa to emerge” he added, explaining his long-term vision.

A documentary film focussing on key highlights of July 27 will soon be available. The teams have already started to prepare for the next edition, following the same approach consisting in involving sports communities, public institutions and private sector actors and encouraging them to act positively in favour of the development of sports value chains in Africa.

Nomination Opens For 2019 Nigerian Sports Award

Organisers of Nigeria’s most prestigious sports award – Nigerian Sports Award has announced opening of entries for the different categories of the 2019 edition of the award.

According to a statement issued and signed by the Executive Director, Nigerian Sports Award, Mr. Kayode Idowu, the nominations which heralds the commencement of activities for the 2019 edition of the award opened on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 and ends on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

According to the statement, a total of 21 categories are open for nomination from the general public in this year’s edition of the award. These categories recognise individuals; male; female; physically challenged; continental participants; indigenous games, media and community builders.

They include; Racket Sports Person of the Year (Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton and Squash),

Team Sports Person of the Year (Handball, Volleyball, Football, Basketball),

Combat Sports Personality of the Year (Wrestling, Karate, Judo, Taekwondo & Boxing),

Individual sports person of the year (Weight lifting, Athletics),

Basketball player of the Year, Coach of the Year,

Discovery of the Year, Footballer of the Year (Women),

Footballer of the Year (Men).

Managing Director, Unmissable Incentives Limited, Kayode Idowu; Chief Executive Officer, Master Sport International, Mitchel Obi; Veteran Sport Broadcaster and member of the Nigerian Sports Award Panel (NSA), Fabio Lanipekun; Chairman of the Panel, Kweku Tandoh

Others include; Wrestler of the Year, School Sport Award, Para Sports Person of the Year, Team of the Year, Athletics Star of the Year, Sports Governor of the Year, Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, Sports Journalist of the Year (Radio), Sports Journalist of the Year (TV), Sports Journalist of the Year (Print) and Sports Photo Journalist of the Year.

Idowu also stated that this year, nominations can be done through three channels; Online through the award official website – http://www.nigeriansportsaward.com/nominations, the manual entries (hard copies) nomination forms available at all Sports Federation Secretariats across the country or via social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook) using each category’s hashtag.

For example, to nominate your Footballer of the Year (Women), all you need to do is type #NSA2019 (Space) #FOTYW (Space) name of nominee (Space) @ngrsportsaward and tweet.

Hashtags to be used include; Basketball Player of the Year – #BPTY, Coach of the Year – #COTY, Discovery of the Year–#DOTY, Footballer of the Year (Women) – #FOYW, amongst others.

Idowu called on all sport lovers and member of the public to avail themselves of the opportunity to celebrate their favourite sports personalities by nominating them in their respective categories.

While appreciating the existing sponsors and partners of the prestigious award like Bet9ja – Nigeria’s leading sports betting company, Sifax Group, Mastersports International, SuperSports, LASAA amongst others, Idowu called on more on corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals to throw their weight behind the award by sponsoring the award.

The Nigerian Sports Award is dedicated to recognising the achievements of our sports men and women, both present and past that have shone brightest in the sporting world.

The award honours leadership, vision, innovation and outstanding accomplishments providing an opportunity for our sports stars to be celebrated on national and global platforms.

ITF World Champions Dinner – Awards, Photos and Reactions

The 2018 ITF World Champions were honoured on Tuesday evening at the ITF World Champions Dinner at the Pavillon Gabriel in Paris. ITF President David Haggerty presented the trophies to the Champions, in recognition of their outstanding performances in 2018, at the dinner compered by Annabel Croft.

Credit: ITF/Paul Zimmer

Gabriela Sabatini was presented with the ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, for her outstanding contribution to tennis both on and off the court. Accepting her award, Sabatini said:

“Thank you very much to the ITF for the 2019 Philippe Chatrier Award. I feel very honoured to receive it. Being here at Roland Garros is very special to me. It was here where I made my first big achievement; winning aged 14 years old the junior tournament. This title was important both in my tennis career and in my life. At that moment I was too little to realise what was happening. I was just happy knowing that I was going to play tennis and I ended up at this junior tournament, winning Roland Garros and becoming the No. 1 in the world in juniors. I remember immediately after that I went back to my home country Argentina with my father, and when we arrived at the airport I saw a lot of people waiting outside. I asked my father ‘why are there so many people?’, and it turned out that those people were waiting for me.

That day I felt that what I wanted to do was to play tennis. During my career I went through difficult moments: travelling by myself around the world, coping with different pressures and missing my country and friends. I was living a different life than any other girl would have at that age. But in the end all that effort was worth it. Tennis gave me wings; it has strengthened me physically and mentally. I learned to work hard – very hard for what I wanted – with passion, love and discipline. I had the opportunity to travel around the world to see new cultures, new people and make friends from all over. It gave me the temperament to confront tough moments. I learned from winning, but more from losing. I will always be grateful to tennis. More than 20 years have gone by since my retirement and the mark that tennis has left on me will be forever. Tennis and sport in general teaches values; it brings us together through sharing the same passion and gives us the opportunity to grow, to challenge ourselves and become better, not only as an athlete, but more importantly as a person.”

2018 ITF World Champions:

Men’s Singles Novak Djokovic (SRB):

“I would like to thank the ITF for this wonderful award – the ITF World Champion for 2018. It has been an amazing comeback season for me. It started with elbow surgery and it took several months for me to recover, get back on the right track and find the game that would allow me – later on in the year – to have arguably the best six months that I’ve had in my career, crowning it with three Grand Slam titles. Hopefully I can keep that streak going here in Paris.”

Credit: ITF/Paul Zimmer

Women’s Singles Simona Halep (ROU):

“All my hard work has paid off and I’m so happy to be here tonight. Even though I play tomorrow, I couldn’t say no to this. I am so grateful for this trophy. It is very important for me and it will be with my top trophies; Grand Slam, No. 1 and this one.”

Men’s Doubles Mike Bryan (USA) and Jack Sock (USA):

Bryan: “To win this award again feels really good. It is the pinnacle in the sport of doubles, to finish the year on a high and win a couple of Slams and then be honoured as ITF World Champion. It means the world to me to have done it at the age of 41. To be on that stage again with all of those great champions – the who’s who of the tennis world – is a special night and an honour to be up there.”

Women’s Doubles Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) and Katerina Siniakova (CZE):

Siniakova: “It was an amazing year, I cannot describe it. It was just amazing that we did so well in the juniors together and now in the pros. I have enjoyed it so much with hopefully many more titles to come.”

Junior Boys Tseng Chun Hsin (TPE):

“I am sorry I cannot be there with you tonight. Unfortunately, two big moments in my life have come along at the same time. I have to attend a graduation ceremony to graduate from high school. I would like to thank the ITF for giving me this award, I am honoured to join a list of winners which includes so many legends of the sport.”

Junior Girls Clara Burel (FRA):

“2018 was a very successful year for me. I came close often, but I was very glad to win the ITF Junior Masters and I am very pleased to be awarded with this trophy now.”

Credit: ITF/Paul Zimmer

Men’s Wheelchair Shingo Kunieda (JPN):

“I am very honoured to be ITF World Champion again. I suffered with an elbow injury but I am very proud about being able to come back here and I should appreciate my achievement.

The standout moment for me in 2018 was the Australian Open. It was the most memorable moment of my career due to the injury which I had, and I was really happy.

We have Paralympics 2020 next year in my home country, and that is my biggest goal but for the time being I am focused on Roland Garros and I want to remain world No. 1.”

Women’s Wheelchair Diede de Groot (NED):

“There were so many highlights in 2018. I think for me, at the beginning of the year, I won the Australian Open and that was my second Grand Slam title, but I really had to fight for it and that meant a lot to me. Becoming World No. 1 for the first and defending my Wimbledon title – it’s been a crazy year. I am very proud to receive this award. I’m very proud of what we’ve done and proud of the work that I’ve put into it.”

Credit: ITF/Paul Zimmer

Quad Wheelchair Dylan Alcott (AUS):

“I love my life at the minute. I love tennis and everything that wheelchair tennis has done for me – it really changed my life. I used to really struggle with my disability when I was a young kid but as soon as I played wheelchair tennis it actually changed my life.

“My dream is to win Grand Slams, to win all four Grand Slams. One of my heroes Rod Laver is here – he has become a great friend – and if I could become even one-tenth of the legend he is, it would mean a lot to me.”

Asaba Set to Host Nigeria Pitch Awards Ceremony

The 6th Award Ceremony of the prestigious Nigeria Pitch Awards will hold in Asaba, the Delta State capital on Saturday 8 June 2019. Organisers announced that the ceremony will begin after the Nigeria-Zimbabwe International Friendly scheduled to hold at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

Shina Philips (L) With the Inspector General Of Police Mohammed Adamu

Speaking in Lagos, Shina Philips, President of the Nigeria Pitch Awards, said organisers have concluded plans to host all nominees, the media, and football stakeholders including top NFF bigwigs.

‘The Award Ceremony’, Philips continued ‘will spotlight top Super Eagles members, other footballers, coaches, referees, football journalists and other stakeholders who were voted as winners by our voters spread across the 36 states of the country.’

At the 6th Award Ceremony, winners will be announced in all 20 categories. Guests at the ceremony and football fans world over would be eager to know who among Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo and Wilfred Ndidi will emerge King of the Pitch which is the awards version of the Most Valuable Player.

Interestingly, the State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and Delta State are among nominees for the Football Friendly Governor Award and Award for the State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Award respectively.

Shina Philips

‘The voting process of the Nigeria Pitch Awards is coordinated entirely by SIAO Partners, Nigeria’s foremost accounting firm. Like all lovers of football in Nigeria, we eagerly await the results from the accounting firm at the award ceremony in Asaba’, Philips concluded

The award ceremony will be anchored by Stephanie Isuma, aka ‘Calabar Chic’. The event will kick off at 7:00 pm with Red Carpet appearances and interviews while the award proper will commence at 8:00 pm at the Golden Tulip Hotel on Maryam Babangida Way, Asaba.

Ikpea Receives International Sports Award

It was another day for celebrations as the National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea, was yesterday in his office in Lagos honoured with the International Sports Excellence Award by the Nigeria Rope Skipping Federation.

According to Olusesan Olukoya, Secretary-General of the NRSF who led the delegation to present the award to Ikpea, the recipient was deservedly bestowed with the meritorious award after a diligent and objective look into his age long and positive contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria.

” Rev. Samuel Ikpea, without a doubt, truly deserves to be honoured and celebrated. He is a lover and promoter of sports and his immense contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria,” Olukoya stated.

In his reaction, Ikpea expressed his gratitude to God for the award and also for giving him the wherewithal to contribute his own quota to the development of sports in the country.

Samuel Ikpea, President Nigeria football supporters club, (NFSC)

An obviously elated Ikpea, thanked the board of NRSF for the honour bestowed on him. Adding that it is indeed, encouraging to know that his modest contributions to the development of the country through sports have not gone unnoticed.

” I am glad to receive this award. And I thank God for making it possible. I also say thank you to the organizers for this recognition,” Ikpea remarked.

” This award would only spur me to doing more for Nigeria sports. As the saying goes, the reward for hardwork, is more work,” he added.

Akeem Busari