Three veteran Ghanaian para sports athletes Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe, Alem Mumuni and Patrick Yaw Obeng have been honoured for their commitment to the growth and development of para sports in Ghana at the 3rd Liquid Sports Ghana Award 2017 held at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City on Saturday, 9th June.
The trio were presented with special individual plaques designed and manufactured in the USA purposely for the award ceremony.
Patrick Yaw Obeng, who is regarded as one of the pioneers of para sports in Ghana, has medaled at every single All Africa Games since 2003; Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe is the first Ghanaian to have competed at the Olympic Games and holds the record for most appearances at the Olympics after competing at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games; Alem Mumuni was the first African paracyclist to have competed at the Olympics at London 2012.
In a spontaneous move in appreciation of the efforts by the veteran athletes, the Indian Women’s Association of Ghana (IWA)- who were represented by four of their members at the event- presented ¢500.00 to each of the para sports athletes as a gift.
IWA also surprised many when they presented a check of $6,000 to 3-time Olympian Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe for the purchase of a new racing chair to enable him compete favourably on the international stage.
A key highlight of the awards was an awe inspiring speech by para wheelchair specialist Patrick Yaw Obeng who made a passionate appeal to the nation to support para sports athletes who among some of the most disadvantaged in society.
He said the case where Black Stars players are showered with Jeeps and thousands of dollars for winning silver at the African Nations Cup while para sports athletes are given no bonuses for also winning silver medals at the All Africa Games does not augur well for the development of the sport.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu, Director of Sports at the University of Ghana Legon and the Indian Women’s Association of Ghana were awarded with the “Leadership and Excellence Award” for their individual contribution to sports development in Ghana respectively.
On the night, national 800m holder Alex Amankwah and sprinter Janet Amponsah were crowned the Liquid Sports Ghana Male and Female Athlete of the Year 2017 respectively.
Sensational sprinter Hor Halutie and Emmanuel Yeboah grabbed the maiden Rising Stars award meant for locally based male and female athletes respectively.
The athletics awards was voted for by an international cast of athletics experts including renowned Ghanaian journalist Karl Tufuoh, Citi FM’s Fentuo Tahiru, the President of the Ghana Triathlon Federation, Bawah Fuseini, Carole Fuchs, Managing Editor of www.africathle.com, Online Editor, TV 3 Network, Kwame Amoh, Yemi Olus, Senior writer at Nigeria’s Making of Champions-a Sports Media & Management Company, renowned Ghanaian athletics coaches Salamatu Musah and Chris Amankrah- who doubles at the Chairman of the Greater Accra Athletics Association.
The awards-the first of its kind in Ghana which focuses on athletics and para sports- are aimed at throwing the spot light on athletes who excel in representing the country both locally and internationally to inspire the younger generation.
Source: Liquid Sports