Six prolific sports personalities of Nigerian heritage were honoured at the Sportivation Media Awards, in Lagos, last Saturday.
Masai Ujiri, President of NBA club, Toronto Raptors, received the Sports Personality of the Year Award with praise and admonition for the Sportivation team.
Other recipients included Barrister Paul Edeh, Shina Philips, Marcellinus Anyanwu, Coach Valentine Chika and Samuel Dosunmu
Most of the recipients could not travel to join the Award ceremony as a result of the global travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus and the omicron variant, however, they sent representatives to receive the awards on their behalf.
Ujiri was represented by his Nigerian media manager, Pius Ayinor who collected the award and delivered the official acceptance speech.
Sportivation Media team at the Sportivation Media Awards 2021
Speaking, he said: “First, I say thank you to Sportivation for finding me worthy to receive the award.
“I am sorry that I couldn’t be here in person to receive it. We all know how the world is now and the challenge of travelling.
“As a media organization, I hope that you and your colleagues would continue to press it on the government at the various levels in Nigeria to live up to their responsibilities by providing the basic facilities for the young Nigerians to develop themselves. Sports is big business and these facilities are needed.
“We’re at the National Stadium for this programme but look how the facility is wasting. I have spoken about this place and I will continue to do so until something reasonable is done about this arena. It’s a big embarrassment to the country.
“We decided to build 100 basketball courts across the African continent to set examples and challenge to authorities. We want to provide the schools and communities with the basic facilities for growth and hoping also that the government will see the private effort as a challenge.”
Edeh, who was honoured with a special recognition award for contributions to women football development commented on the award through his representative, Dotun Coker, saying: It gives me joy to be honoured by Sportivation Media in recognition of my contribution towards the growth of women football.
“This award attests to the fact that when we stand to do our bit to complement those with the onerous responsibility of leading the football community, our efforts will surely be recognised and rewarded.
“I count it a rare privilege to be considered by Sportivation for this award and consider this as a booster to do more for women football in the coming year.”
Honoured for his contribution to football and youth development, Anyanwu, who was represented by a relative, Mrs Adeline Anyanwu, said: I am extremely honoured to be receiving such an important award of Excellence by Sportvitation media. I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my effort in putting Nigeria and African youths on the footballing map by providing the right platform for them to excel in their footballing careers.
“I have faced several challenges on my way here, but each one of them has only strengthened me to make me the person I am today; a thorough professional who knows exactly what he wants to achieve; someone who sets his eyes on a goal and does not lose sight of it, unless it is achieved.
“Winning this award would not have been possible without these challenges because these challenges have now pushed me into doing even more for the Nigerian & African football lad. It is always my joy when I see a Nigerian lad succeed in his football career.
“I sincerely thank each one of you for honouring me and will proudly hold up this award as a mark of my achievement. I also promise to only get better at my work so that more talented lads can be given a platform to succeed in their football careers.
“As a pan – African grassroots coach, I will continue to use football to empower youths for violent and crime-free society.”
Coach Chika, honoured with special recognition for contributions to sports development, wrote: “I’m super thankful to Sportivation for choosing me to collect this award, I was saddened when I came to know that I won’t be coming home to enjoy the whole fun with the group, but I’m happy we have many plans and future ahead. This is simply one of the most important scenes of my professional career, honestly.
Sportivation Media is a sports media, events and broadcast company.
List of Awardees/Categories
Masai Ujiri: Sports Personality Of the year Award for his contribution to the development of Basketball in Nigeria.
Shina Phillips: Special Recognition Award for Innovation for his contribution to football through the Nigeria Pitch Awards.
Barrister Paul Edeh: Special Recognition Award for his contribution to Women’s Football.
Chika Okoli Valentine: Sportivation Media Diaspora Award for his contribution to football and youth development.
Marcellinus Anyanwu: Special Recognition Award for his contribution to football and youth development.
Samuel Dosunmu: Admin of the year in recognition of his commitment to Sportivation Media.
Martins Utomi: Sportivation Most Active Member on Sportivation Media’s WhatsApp group.
The event was held in a glitzy and glamorous atmosphere with wonderful performances from musicians, networking and a lot more.