Nigerian Sports Awards: Beyond the Glitz….

Now the awards have come and gone..I want to take a deeper look at the whole awards ceremony. Well we all know organizing can be a problem for us so I do not want to dwell on the pitfalls of that. Rather I want to look at the nominees and categories of the award itself.

There were so many flaws in these that a very competent panel that consists of people like  Ikeddy Isiguzo, Dr.Gloria Obajimi, Fabio Olanipekun ,Felix Awogu, Falilat Ogunkoya,Ejiro Omonode and Fred Edoreh should have  corrected or at least seen.

The Panel of the Sports Awards still have a lot to do

The Panel of the Sports Awards still have a lot to do

First, it’s sad that our sportsmen with disabilities were not recognized. This is highly discriminatory. Apart from the fact that they are our most successful athletes in Olympic participation and international competitions, we should be seen to be all inclusive in our awards. There should have been an award for Sportsman of the year with disability and Sportswoman of the year with disability.

Second, we are forgetting our veterans. It is important that each year we honour at least one veteran, even if it’s  posthumously. Our national anthem tells it all, “The labor of our heroes past, shall never be in vain”. Those sport men and women of yesteryears have laid the foundation of our success today.

Another category missing was “Sport supporter of the year’’. this should be given to corporate sponsors of sport to encourage them. Corporate organization are needed for sports development and the one  way to encourage them is to recognize them when they do well.

Then away from the absentee categories, There were some categories that should not exist. One in particular,  Ball Sports personality of the Year. This was won (refreshingly I must say) by Amna Quadri  (table tennis). But what exactly is Ball sport? Is football not a ball sport? Why didn’t you  also give a “non-ball sport” award?

Then what was the criteria of picking the school sports award? How did the nominees emerge? Why was the award looking like something confined to schools in Lagos (with a contribution from Delta). Why and how did Greensprings win?  I think they should be more reasons and transparency for winning that award.

Some awards exposed the lack of research or info by  the panel especially in the nominees.  Track and field star of the year had only two nominees. While the winner was not in doubt, we have had more than just the two outstanding performance all year, starting from the sports festival last year to date. It was also surprising to see that U17 eaglets were not even nominated for team of the year while warri wolves(why on earth, I can’t seem to understand)were nominated.

To conclude, while the Nigeria sports awards are a good thing, There should be transparency in the awards, there should be more information and research to determine nominees, all categories should have constant number of nominees (I propose five) except special recognition awards, and also we should honor veterans ,sponsors and people with disabilities.

These are just my views.


7 thoughts on “Nigerian Sports Awards: Beyond the Glitz….

  1. Ennefiok you have said it all, with all the comment you just mention in your aticle my honest opinion is this is just a lagos state sport council Award .
    There is an ability is disability we are all sport men and women they should be there as we’ll

  2. Great thoughts I hope they see this criticisms and learn to improve the next time it’s held. Nigerians hate criticism. But this was spot on.

  3. Ene, I agree with your views. There is equally a need to make the award more inclusive. Recognize talents and services rendered in your subsequent outings.
    Nigeria shall survive.

  4. I have just read the entire blog entry and have this to say. There is nothing more to add to what was written but there needs to be an acceptance of sorts that ‘Awards’ in Nigeria have become commercial ventures rather than Value-Adds.

    The surprise that those who made up the panel, despite being renowned athletes themselves, should not even arise. The Panel can only work with nominations it has been given though it would not be out of place for any of them to raise questions such as have been raised by the writer.

    Fundamentally Awards events are usually not planned and executed by professional planners. They are usually initiated by persons who see some sort of commercial value or who may be ‘favour-seeking’. Hence the poor organisation and execution of most Awards projects.

    When sometimes wonder at the ‘merit’ of certain awardees but also quickly recognize the objective of the organisers to lay the foundations for ‘future’ requests being met and mostly for other reasons.

    Recently a sitting Governor was ‘awarded’ Sports Governor of the Year yet this is a man who nominated a deceased person for a post within his government. You may wonder what one has to do with the other and I will say it goes to the organisers not thinking beyond the ‘glitz’ and the negative publicity which trails some of these awardees and how it may tarnish the value of what they are doing going forward. But who cares about tomorrow’s value when today’s objectives can be met?

    FIFA has only recently ‘extended’ its voting for Footballer of the Year. This precedent was set to ‘accommodate’ late great performances even AFTER the original voting had been concluded. Guess Who is Going to Win that now.

    FIFA did this ONLY because the ‘value’ of its award and the ‘merit’ of each awardee is given every possible chance to be included in the decisions taken.

    Specifically, the writer is absolutely correct to wonder why Veterans, the Disabled and other such possible awardees were not mentioned or considered.

    He further points out the reference to our National Anthem which evidently did not apply in the thinking of the organisers. How then can they truly call this Awards Project a National Event?

    Let me introduce a younger friend of mine, Shamsudeen Yusuf (here on Facebook), who is currently pursuing a special program to honour veterans of Nigerian Sports. You also have Ed Keazor & Obi Asika who have delivered something to honour past footballing heroes of Nigeria.

    Now, if any Awards is to be deem of value it must also be all-inclusive. Of All Sports, All Age-Categories and both Genders.

    Anything else such as we have witnessed, is nothing more than capitalizing on an opportunity to get noticed by those whom the organizers need their attention. And this usually has nothing to do with Sports, Awards or the Awardees. Purely business.

    Maybe you now see why we prefer to stay up all night to watch The Oscars.

  5. Thanks, Enee for your comments which I will take as a feedback on the on the Nigerian Sports Awards, the panel of which I am privileged to be in. It is for this reason that I am commenting here, but, please, I do not speak officially for the awards panel and organisation.

    First, I should say that the awards is designed to honour our heroes past and present. This is the second edition. We do not discriminate on any grounds, not to talk of against special sports and para-athletes.

    In the first edition, 2012, we had the category for Para-sports, specially, and the persons in this category were further nominated and upheld for the Sports Person of the Year, which is the overall. This was won by Yakubu Adesokan. Coach Are Fayesitan also won Coach of the Year competing with football and other sports. There were a few issues with this special sports category in the 2013 edition, after nominations had been done and it was stepped down. The panel also learnt of the demise of one of the awardees, a female, under regrettable circumstances. As a matter of fact, even Adesokan who was also nominated again had been contacted. Dont know if the awards org would want to make a public statement on this but suffice to establish here that from the foregoing, the awards org has had special sports as an eminent part of the consideration. I am sure that Coach are and members of the special sports community can testify to their inclusion in the awards and the personal commitment of individual members to the promotion of special sports and support of para-athletes. This charge of discrimination comes deeply saddening…

    Much the same way, the awards org has a prominent place for our veterans with Lifetime Achievement category. This was conferred on Modupe Oshikoya in the first, 2012 edition. She attended from the US. She revealed at the event that the recognition is the first ever accorded her by this country for her contributions through her active career and through retirement. This in itself incensed us further to ensure that we continue to promote and project and honour our veterans through the awards. Also honoured then was Pa KAB Olowu. Someone was nominated for this, 2013, edition and the awards org was ready to fly the person in from the US but there were last minute issues that necessitated the stepping down of the awards, regrettably too… The point again, is, no, the awards panel is not unmindful of our veterans…

    Perhaps, the panel will look at the suggestion for “Supporter of the Year Award” just as it might also look again at the concept of ball sports awards.

    On school sports, please note that, nominations are done by the public and the nominations channels were well publicized. To motivate the public to participate, we had the weekly raffle draw for persons who nominated. This year, the awards provided 5 phones and for about five months running up to the awards… What we got was the three nominees on the school category…. The awards panel looked at the achievements of these nominees. The school Warri won Channels TV national Kids football competition, just like Keke School in Lagos won also two competitions that were organised in Lagos. Greensprings was found to be running well articulated and impressive development programmes with investments in facilities and training for school kids in about six sports. The panel thought that though winning is important but at that stage investment in development was even more important…

    Again on Track and Field, while we agree that we have had more than two outstanding performances, the panel was not ready to bring in names that were outside those nominated by the public. An independent auditing firm handles the nominations. this also explains how Warri Wolves was nominated, perhaps, by those who feel that playing in the finals of the Federation Cup or the reforms going on within the club or that it produced Sunday Mba are anything to go by.

    On the Eaglets, what happened was that nominations had closed in October before the Eaglets campaign at the Junior World Cup. This is the reason the reason the organisers decided to draw up a special recognition for the team which was celebrated at the event.

    We do concede that organisation is key, suffice to say, most humbly that the Nigerian Sports Awards is Work in Progress as the panel and organisers are determined to build an international standard awards brand. The awards is meant to be private sector driven. There is no government involvement. Funding however is also key… and, as yet, the awards has yet no sponsorship but we will grow better by the years…

    Thanks for your comments…

    Please note that these contributions are strictly mine and does not in anyway represent the official statement of the panel or the organisers of the Nigerian Sports Awards.

    Fred Edoreh

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