The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), has launched the 40th MTN/SWAG Awards aimed at rewarding distinguished sports, men and women who excelled in their various fields of endeavour in 2014.
The awards, the flagship of the sports media fraternity will be held on October 3, at the Banquet Hall, State House and will see over 25 distinguished sportsmen and women as well as corporate bodies being honoured in both competitive and non-competitive categories.
The event will be under the sponsorship of communication giants MTN who are sponsoring the event to the tune GH¢35,000, with the likes of ATL, Stanbic Bank, Activa Int, Goil, and Groupe Nduom among others also supporting.
Speaking at the launch yesterday at the Ghana International Press Centre, president of SWAG Mr. Kwabena Yeboah noted that the SWAG awards is the most prestigious and longest running awards of any form in the country.
He stated that many of the awards ceremonies in Ghana today, including the GJA awards, were inspired by the successful SWAG Awards pioneered by the august association in 1974 at the erstwhile Ambassador Hotel in Accra.
“Over the last decade SWAG Awards have served as a benchmark for excellence in sports, as our sports stars put up their best performance for recognition, in major competitions to catch the eyes of SWAG, an act that helped raised the standard of Ghana sports.”
According to him, unlike other awards that emerged, the SWAG Awards is the only kind that recognises the achievement of all sporting disciplines, from football to boxing to athletics to tennis and the lesser funded sports.
Mr. Yeboah, further noted that since its maiden event in 1974, the SWAG Awards have honoured revered names such as Mohammed Polo, Barima Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Abedi Pele, Tony Yeboah, Samuel Osei Kuffour, Frank Ofori, Margaret Simpson, Ignisious Gaisah, Michael Essien, Ajara Mohammed, Asamoah Gyan and many more and will stop at nothing to keep rewarding exceptional sporting talents who toil and sweat for mother Ghana.
He revealed that funding has been the biggest challenge facing the association and despite the contributions of MTN and other partners like Stanbic Bank, SIC Insurance, Activa Int, ATL, Goil, the Kenpong Group among others, the association still needs more sponsors to help it organise its events.
He disclosed that the traditional fund raiser, the SWAG Cup match, is unable to raise the needed revenue due to low spectator turn-out, and called for more support from corporate Ghana as well as well meaning individuals.
Madam Efua Falconer, acting corporate communications senior manager for MTN said her outfit’s six year relationship with SWAG has been one without regret and pledged their continuous support to the association so together they can uplift the awards to a higher pedestal, while helping in the development of sports in general in the country.
By Raymond Ackumey