PORT HARCOURT, February 14, 2018 - The leadership of the International Press Sports Association’s continental section AIPS Africa has singled out the executive governor of River State Nyesom Wike for recognition. He will soon be conferred with the AIPS Africa Power Of Sports award for his consistent support and identification with sports as a true enabler of development and youth engagement.
The award, according to the President of AIPS Africa and Vice President of AIPS', "is a badge of honour freely and independently considered and granted" and it derives its inspiration from the great Nelson Mandela School of thought, which holds that sports has the power to change the world.
The governor would become the first recipient of the prestigious award on the continent and align with four other global winners of which the last recipient is the erstwhile International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacque Rogge.
A distinguished team of the AIPS Africa Executive Committee, led by Mitchell Obi, paid a courtesy call last Saturday after observing the 2018 Africa Wrestling Championship hosted by the River State and inspected some facilities as well as planned academies for use by the growing young populace in and outside the state.
Host president of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo was on hand to conduct the AIPS Africa team during their short stay in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.In the meeting at the state house, which included members of the state executive council and advisers, Obi told the governor that the body of sports journalists in the continent was fully persuaded that the honour to be conferred on him would serve as an apt catalyst for a privileged attention to sports in his fast track developmental strides.
“For your consistent and invaluable support to the national teams in Nigeria, through the expansion of sports facilities and infrastructure to cater for the interest of clubs such as River State United, Rivers Angels and many more as well as the strategic diversification in sports, that stir strong appeal with the youth populace. The Executive Committee has found a solid and true sports knight ready to continue the long march in rekindling the glow of African sports,” Obi stated during the courtesy call.
Obi expressed appreciation to the governor for the invitation to the Executive Committee to witness the wrestling championship hosted in Port Harcourt.
“We are indeed delighted by the establishment of sports facilities, clubs and academies that have been of great benefit to many in and outside Nigeria,” he said.
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike also expressed appreciation to the leadership of AIPS Africa for the recognition. He promised to avail himself at the next global congress of the 94-year old AIPS, where he will be decorated and expectedly deliver a message that will anchor the AIPS crusade for clean and value adding sports as well as enhancing sports media excellence in the face of today's tough challenges including the influence of technology.