Posted by News Express | 5 December 2017 | 1,445 times
For Aruna Quadri, Victor Moses, Obafemi Martins, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Asisat Oshoala, it was a night of glory as they carted away plaques of honour at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Awards for Sporting Excellence (NASE) held on Saturday night, December 2, at Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
At the event held amid pomp and pageantry, tennis sensation Quadri emerged Sports Person of The Year; Moses Footballer of The Year; while Martins was crowned Footballer of The Year (Asia); Ezenwa Footballer of The Year (Africa) and Oshoala Female Footballer of The Year.
Below is the citation of each of the triumphant sports stars as read out by the host and hostess, Grandmaster Sunny Okim and On-Air-Personality (OAP) Theresa Moses a.k.a Lady T or Tessy Gold:
SPORTS PERSON OF THE YEAR — Aruna Quadri
He is a Tennis sensation, the first Nigerian and African to win a Men’s Singles title at an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) challenge series event outside the continent. Current holder of the Polish Open title, he is a pride to Nigeria and Africa, a beacon of hope, and worthy of being crowned Sports Person of The Year.
FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR — Victor Moses
He is a mesmerizing winger, a terror to his opponents in the English Premier League, widely believed to be the best in the world. With 28 appearances and 10 goals for Nigeria, he is one of those who made the trip to Russia to be easier than imagined.
FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR (Asia) — Obafemi Martins
He is a veteran lethal striker better known as Obagoal. Fast, agile and quick on the ball, he also stands out for his acrobatic goal celebration with 41 appearances and 18 goals for Nigeria. He just once more proved his worth by delivering the Chinese FA Cup to his club.
FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR (Africa) — Ikechukwu Ezenwa
His charismatic goal keeping style with unbelievable saves makes him one of the hottest shot stoppers in Africa today. Instructively, he is the only home-based player currently holding down a first-team shirt in the Russia-bound Super Eagles.
FEMALE FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR — Asisat Oshoala
She is a former Liverpool and Arsenal striker, an award winning, skillful and talented goal queen. Currently based in China, she is fondly called Super Zee by her teammates, and is generally regarded as one of the best things to happen to female football in Africa and beyond.
Among others honoured during the night was Senate Minority Leader, Chief (Dr.) Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, who was voted Nigeria’s Pillar of Sports 2017. The rest included Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State; the President/Sole Sponsor of Go-Round Football Club of Omoku, Rivers State, Bro. Felix Obuah; SCOA plc Chairman, Chief Barr. Henry Agbamu; Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Engr. Musa Kida; Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Director of Sports, Chief (Mrs.) Dili Onyedinma; Nigeria Football Supporters Club Chairman, Prince Vincent Okumagba; and Chairman, BJ Foundation FC of Benin City, Coach Douglas Idahosa.
Three teams were equally honoured at the occasion, namely the male and female national basketball teams, D’Tigers and D’Tigress, as well as Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) reigning champions, Plateau United.
It was a night of glamour and fun as the country’s biggest sports awards successfully debuted to the delight of sports stakeholders from various parts of the country who graced the event. Entertainment was provided by the Nigerian Football Supporters Club (NFSC) Band, while Comedian MC Prophecee CFR further added to the colour with his rib-cracking jokes.
Among dignitaries from the sporting community in attendance was the legendary Coach Kashimawo Laloko, former National Coach of Nigeria and Gambia, one-time Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and currently Director of the wave-making Pepsi Football Academy.
The award ceremony was chaired by sports marketing guru, Mr. Taye Oladimeji Ige, Chairman/CEO of HotSports Network and HS Media Group, a foremost media conglomerate which is currently building the biggest TV production studio in Nigeria.
The organisers have promised to stage an even more spectacular show next year.
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