*For dominating 2016 Nigerian Sports Award
For the Nigerian Paralympic community, there was that scarce recognition coming in for them hours after what they described as a most successful celebration of the international day for disability when its rank dominated the annual 2016 Nigeria Sports Award held at the weekend in Lagos.
A para-sports enthusiast and promoter, General Lonsdale Adeoye led the pack to congratulate the winning duo of 2016 Rio Paralympic gold medallists, Kehinde Paul and Lucy Ejike who emerged as the sportsman and woman of the year.
Both athletes who contributed to giving Nigeria respite at the Rio Paralypmic Games after their able bodied counterparts again flopped at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, also emerged the special athletes of the year for men and women respectively.
Expectedly their coach, Feyisetan Areh emerged Coach of the year, beating Samson Siasia, who coached the Olympic football team who managed to scoop a bronze medal from Team Nigeria’s disastrous outing in Rio and Imama Amapakabo whom led Rangers of Enugu to a league title after 32 years.
In quick response, Barrister Yusuf Iyodo and Irene Ogbogwu-Patrick who are the President and Secretary of the Para Sports Federation of Nigeria respectively sent in their congratulatory message to their ilks who shone “like diamond stars which they are.”
However, what Siasia missed in the Coach’s category, his team, the Dream Team VI, got when they emerged Team of the Year for their bronze medal feat at the Rio Olympic Games earlier this year.
And like Siasia, what Amapakabo missed in the Coaches category, his player, Chisom Egbuchulam who was named Rangers player of the month of March 2016, was voted footballer of the year ahead Super Eagles and Manchester City’s forward, Kelechi Iheanacho and Godwin Obaje, the Wikki Tourists of Bauchi’s forward who emerged top scorer in the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Chisom contributed immensely to Rangers sterling performance in the league that got them the title, 32 years after they last appeared on the podium. The club will be representing the nation in Africa in the new season.