The President of the Republic of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, over the weekend, showered encomiums on the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, for his huge impact on Nigerian sports since he assumed the ministerial position.
The Maldivian President said Dare’s giant strides in sports were a big plus to Nigeria and the African region.
At the Maldives 2023 Sports Awards, the Nigerian Sports Minister on 18th March 2023, received a ‘Special Recognition Award’ for his huge contribution to sports in Nigeria and the African Region.
President Solih said: “I congratulate the Sports Minister of Nigeria, and I want people to know that we followed his progress over a period of time before deciding to honour him with this Award.
He believe his positive steps will continue to boost sports in Nigeria in the years to come.
The Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Republic of Maldives, Ahmed Mahloof, also stated that the award was a recognition for Dare’s hard work within a short time in office.
Some global sports personalities were also conferred with Sports Icons Awards at the ceremony.
Nigerian football legend, Nwankwo Kanu, was top on the list of the icons recognised at the event.
Others were Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning captain, Fabio Cannavaro and England’s ex- international goalkeeper David James.
In his response, the Sports Minister Sunday Dare thanked the organisers of the event and added that the recognition was a challenge to him to do more in any capacity he finds himself.
“It is a validation of the modest efforts we have made as a country in the past 3 plus years to reposition sports. There is still more to do and this award will propel us forward in the right direction “.
“This is a good one for Nigeria, especially with Kanu also recognised in the sports icon category,” he added.
Many atheletes received awards in 18 categories, including national athletes of Maldives.
The Award ceremony was also graced by the Chief of Staff to the Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Abba Yola, Managing Director and CEO of Premium Trust bank Emmanuel Emefienim, Director of Federations and Elite Athletes Department Dr. Ebojaiye and others.