*Sportsmark awards is unique and rewarding
By Olayinka Elebute
Minister for Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has thrown his weight behind the annual Sportsmark award to be launched soon.
The Minister commended the Sportsmark team led by former Sports Editor of Daily Times Group, respected journalist and Sports consultant, Mr. Gboyega Okegbenro for the laudable and novel initiatives. He praised the innovations particularly as it concerns youths and yesteryears heroes and heroines of the country’s sports.
He challenged the team not to allow detractors to deter and derail the objectives and mission of the project adding the SportsMark must develop thick skin in the cause of achieving the set tasks.
Dalung thanked the initiator, Okegbenro, for ploughing back his 34 years of experience in sports business dating back to his secondary school and NUGA Games for the young generation.
Responding, the CEO of Sportsmark, Okegbenro, said one of the reasons they paid the visit to Dalung was to espouse the ideals of the annual awards which would be in various categories.
He said the project was targeted towards the encouragement, enablement and rewarding of the athletes.
Okegbenro added the award which would be unique and first class will be on the same level as the BBC, Laurels and FIFA awards.
“It ‘ll not only capture just one sport but multi-sports and designed to add value, grants to athletes, give rewards to those that have contributed one way or the other to sports development in the country,” he said.
We intend to enable athletes, mentor them and ensure that their contributions do not go unrewarded especially when they are old and cannot no longer fend for themselves,” he explained.
Also speaking at the meeting, member of the Advisory Committee of the Project, Alhaji Suleiman Baba-Ali, said the outfit would be transparent and independent in the selection of the awardees adding that the project would be driven by funds from private sector and sports philanthropists.
The award he said would hold later on in the year, tentatively November 2017.