The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has selected sports personalities and one serving governor to 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 has been fixed for August 5 at the Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Centre, Asaba.
The award, which will be sponsored by the Delta State Government, will be bestowed on three administrators, two 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 other 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 Eleyae 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 at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympics, would be given a posthumous award also.