Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq was on Friday night honoured with the prestigious Platinum Award by Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Kwara state chapter at its Award Night titled ‘Celebration of Excellence.
Making his welcome address at the occasion, the Chairman of Kwara SWAN, Jimoh Bashir noted that the Governor has changed the narrative of sports development in the state since assuming office as the Governor
The SWAN Chairman pointed out that the Governor was not only appreciated for reviving the state Sports Festival after 15 years, the renovation and construction of new facilities, the support to Kwara United FC or the encouragement of total participation in sports, but for opening of a new vista, a vista of hope which will break new grounds.
Bashir, who said that the last Kwara SWAN Award Night held in 2004, when eminent sports personalities were honoured said the association has sacrificed a lot to arrive at this stage.
He explained that the Award Night was re- introduced to appreciate the awardees for their patriotism and to challenge them and others to do more.
“Despite our sacrifices as a body, the association is faced with numerous challenges as the SWAN secretariat is at roofing level, with no bus for the association, adding that all these has limited the operations of association which would have afforded it additional opportunity to exploit the grassroots to expose talents.
The SWAN secretariat project, he disclosed will require as much asN8.3 million to complete and equipped with modern communication gadgets.
In his remarks, the Executives Chairman of Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bola Mogaji commended SWAN for its active role in sports reportage in the state.
Mogaji, who stood in for the Governor at the occasion said SWAN members are the effective medium that projects sports activities in the state and beyond, adding that without them, nobody will know what is going on about sports.
He gave kudos to the association for organizing the Award Night as he charged them not to relent in their efforts.
Responding to the association’s demand for assistance from the government on its secretariat project, Mogaji assured that the massage will be conveyed the Governor.
Also making his remarks, the new Kwara State Pillar of Sports, Prince Oladimeji Thompson, whose investiture was one of the major highlights of night noted that government alone cannot fund sports as philanthropists should rally round to supplement government’s efforts
Prince Oladimeji Thompson said he is always willing to contribute to sports development because it engages the youth and discourage them from crimes and social vices.
He thanked SWAN for considering him for the elevated position of Kwara Pillar of Sports and promised to repay the confidence reposed in him.
Sixty three sports administrators, athletes and journalists including the Executive Chairman Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bola Mogaji, Chairman, Kwara United, Kumbi Titiloye and the Technical Adviser of the team, Abdullahi Biffo, SWAN National Officer and Director of Football, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Ilorin FC, Chief Alloy Chukwuemeka received awards.
The number one sports writer in the state and head of the HeraldSports Desk, Jimoh Bashir and Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), Kwara state chapter were also among recipients of awards at the award night.