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.
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.