SWAN Gets African Students’ Merit Award


…Honours Sirawoo With Personality Medal
The League of African Development Students (LEADS), an umbrella body for African students in tertiary institutions, has awarded the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) with Corporate Mandate Delivery Merit Award in recognition of its efforts in regional integration, nation-building and economic growth.
The body also invested the SWAN President, Mr Honour Sirawoo with Africa’s Patriotic Personality award.
According to the students during an impressive award ceremony which took place in Port Harcourt Thursday, they found in the SWAN President, “an erudite and proven authority in Africa’s public relations and service space per excellence, a Spartan advocate for a modern Africa, distinguished patriot that inspires people of Africa via various community and human capacity development philanthropic deeds.”
President and Head of Advocacy of LEADS, Morgan Gabriel stressed that the award was borne out of the need to recognize those who have made immense contributions to the growth, development and progress of the African continent, especially through sports journalism.
“Our recipient for today, Mr. Honour Sirawoo has an impressive and exemplary antecedence in the Nigerian sports and mainstream journalism having had a vibrant, dynamic and remarkable career in the unflinching quest for national service, thereby pioneering the cause of Africa’s sports development via journalism in line with 53-year old objective of SWAN.
“Such strides come in handy in this era of desperate quest of African states to catch up with the rest of the world in attaining the status imperative for Africa’s quest for self-reliance and sports development to thrive since no meaningful development can ever be attained without a robust image-making as a germane approach to national development, as being championed in manifold fronts by the Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria under the sterling leadership of Mr. Honour Sirawoo, and by extension for sports in Africa,” he stated.
The students called on governments across the continent and corporate organizations to “optimize the use of Mr. Honour Sirawoo’s immense wealth of experience in sports administration erudition and public service in much more capacities to boost Africa’s quest for development and self-reliance in sports.”
An obviously overwhelmed SWAN President, Mr Honour Sirawoo expressed surprise over the award, saying he never expected such elaborate occasion and commendations from a group he had never met.
He reeled out several policies, programmes and interventions carried out by his administration since assumption of office to reposition the association and make it respond to the desires of Nigerians.
Sirawoo enumerated the limitless opportunities existing in the sports sector but regretted that Africa was yet to tap into such avenues and eke out means of livelihood for generations.
He, however, noted that SWAN and other national sporting associations across Africa were rising to the occasion by becoming more involved in the administration of sports and tasking administrators to do more to grow the sector.
The number one sports journalist in Nigeria said the award was a challenge to do more and promised not to disappoint all who have reposed confidence in him.
Among previous recipients of the award include Hon Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of Court of Appeal; George Blankson, Comptroller Ghana Revenue Authority; Dr James Mwangi, CEO Equity Bank of Kenya and Professor E.E Ehile, Secretary General, AAU Accra, Ghana.

Olalekan Ige
Special Adviser to the President on Media


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