By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo.
Federation of International football Association (FIFA) rated Referee, Ferdinand Udo, Akwa Utd FC Chairman and newly appointed Security Officer for FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying match, Paul Bassey have bagged excellent awards in sports by Akwa Ibom state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).
Also spotted out for the prestigious awards were immediate past speaker of Akwa Ibom state house of assembly and member representing Ibesikpo/Asutan state constituency, Aniekan Uko; Onna state constituency representative, Nse Essien; Itu state constituency representative; Idongesit Ituen and Friday Iwok representing Abak state constituency.
Others in that mould were permanent secretary, government house, Uyo, Umo Bassey; Pioneer SWAN member, Ekong Sampson; an entrepreneur, Helen Ekefre; immediate past vice president of SWAN, Justice Udousoro; Abak local government area caretaker committee chairman, Emmanuel Udosen and NUJ state chairman Patrick Albert. A renounced sports commentator/presenter on radio, late Billy Bassey Ekott received a post humus excellent award.
The conferment of the awards on these Akwa Ibom indigenes was part of the activities marking the 2016 SWAN Games organized by the chapter in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital.
Chapter chairman of SWAN, Uwem Ekoh in his welcome address on the occasion witnessed by Vice President of SWAN, Zone F, Eddie Bekom said the awardees never bargained for the awards but were chosen by the Association on grounds of their excellent contributions to the development of sports in the state and at national levels.
He said that the award was given in a hope to spur them up for more supports to the sector in view of the enormous values which sports has in the growth of the society besides wealth creations for the talented young men and women world over.
“For Billy Bassey Ekott though dead but his valuable contributions and rare talents in football commentaries cannot be forgotten in a hurry. Many of us got attracted to sports, especially football through his commentaries on radio, therefore, our decision to honour him with a post-humus award of excellent in recognition of his contributions to sports development in the state cannot be overemphasized”, Ekoh added particularly.
The immediate past speaker of Akwa Ibom house of assembly, Aniekan Uko who chaired the occasion advised SWAN members in the state to invigorate the skills that make sports interesting by not just reporting sports because they want to report but doing it with the technicalities and skills known in sports reporting to attract their readers or audience.
According to Uko, “sport is another interesting activity like a good music that when you are watching the artist on stage or listening to it on radio you will forget about your sorrow”.
Uko is the member representing Ibesikpo/Asutan state constituency in the house who did not only canvassed for the post-humus excellent award on late Billy Bassey Ekott but also sponsored the award, eulogized his rare skills in sports commentaries on radio.
“Late Bill Bassey Ekott in his days was such a good sports commentator that when you listened to his commentary during footballs match you feels as you are watching the match live even when you are not,” Uko noted.
NUJ state chairman, Patrick Albert in a keynote address noted that SWAN in its 28 years of existence in the state has made tremendous impact in the development of sport in the state.
Albert who thanked SWAN for the awards, also appealed to members not to compromise the greatness of Akwa Ibom state since the development of sports in the state required collective efforts of both government and the governed.
Other highlights of the weeklong 2016 SWAN games in the state which commenced on Sunday with a special thanksgiving service included football and indoor games competitions by 14 chapels of NUJ in the state and a seminar.
By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo.