Kumasi, Jan 14, GNA - The Unique Sports Personalities Awards Night (UNISPAN) was launched in Kumasi on Wednesday with the aim of recognising the unique performance of selected sports personalities for their immense contribution to sports development in the country.
The programme, the brainchild of Listowel Sports Consult, seeks to compliment the efforts of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) in the effective promotion and development of sports.
UNISPAN is to hold its maiden awards night on January 25 in Kumasi during which football clubs, players, sportsmen and women in the other sports disciplines and personalities would be honoured.
Launching the programme, Mr C.K. Yeboah, Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Football Association and an executive member of Listowel Sports Consult, said even though SWAG had taken a giant step by recognising the country's sports personalities with the annual awards to inspire them to achieve greater laurels for themselves and the nation, there was still much to be done.
He said football, athletics, boxing, tennis, hockey, volley and golf among other sports disciplines, which had placed the country firmly on the global sports map since independence, seem to be taking a nosedive, such that the flag of Ghana is seldom raised at international sports festivals.
This has come about because, "little or no attention is given to our sports personalities whose selflessness have brought as this far to make it possible for them to effectively develop their talents to the fullest".
The result, Mr Yeboah said, was that the sportsmen and women found it very difficult to compete favourably with their counterparts elsewhere.
The awards night, he said, was therefore to motivate the sportsmen and women to strive hard and climb the ladder of success and to encourage the up and coming ones not to only to take active part in sports development, but also be fully committed to the cause to enable Ghana recapture her lost glory within the shortest possible time.
Mr Yeboah said since UNISPAN was in its embryo stage, it would limit itself to a few packages for the selected personalities this year and gave the assurance that it will be an annual affair so that with the passage of time, big companies and institutions would be enticed to sponsor the ceremony to enable winners receive very enticing packages. Areas that would attract honours for this maiden awards will be dedicated player of the year, disciplined footballer, disciplined team, the most well-behaved league centre, the best goalkeeper and the promising player.
Other areas are, best club chairman, most consistent club, the most outstanding team, dedicated athlete, dedicated athletics coach, hockey team of the year and professional boxer of the year. The rest are, golfer of the year, sports paper of the year, best television sports station of the year and best radio sports station of the year.