All is now set for the maiden Nigeria Olympic Committee Merit Award night billed for tomorrow, August 4, at the Grand Hotel & Resorts, Asaba, Delta State.
A number of sports personalities and one serving governor will be honoured with the NOC Merit Award. It is the first of its kind in the country and both the initiators and the recipients are enthusiastic about the ceremony which comes as a soothing end to the biggest sporting week in the history of Asaba that has been hosting the African Athletics championship that began on Wednesday. It was also learnt that family members of the recipients will attend the ceremony. The event which will be sponsored by the Delta State Government will see three administrators, two track & field athletes, one boxer, two Powerlifters, one para-athlete and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who will be given special recognition for his tremendous contributions to the development of sports in the country.
The recipients include Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, the first indigenous President of the NOC and a former member of the International Olympic Committee. He would be honoured post-humously. Other former administrators who will be honoured include Dr Awoture Eleayae and Alhaji Babayo Shehu.
Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and Falilat Ogunkoya are the two athletes to be so honoured.
Also on the list of honour include the 1972 Munich Olympic bronze medalist in boxing Isaac Ikhuoria and Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin and Maria Usman from weightlifting.
Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike and Monday Oghene Ochuko Emoghavwe are from powerlifting while Adeoye Ajibola who won gold in both 100m and 200m and silver in Long Jump in Atlanta will be given a posthumous award also.
NOC President, Habu Gumel, described the award night as unprecedented in the annals of sports development in the country. All sports federations will be represented at the grand event.