Lagos - The Minister of Youths and sports, Solomon Dalong, has appealed to entrepreneurs in the sports industry to continue to support sports development at the grassroots.
Dalong made the plea while speaking at the 2015 Nigeria Sports Award held at the Eko Hotels and Suits, Lagos.
According to him, the power of sport to unite a nation like Nigeria cannot be jettisoned.
He commended the organisers of the awards and described them as individuals playing a major role in encouraging champions for the country.
During the ceremony sports writers were conferred with awards in 18 different categories for their contribution in 2015.
The Ball Sports Personality of the Year award went to Chamberlain Oguchi of the Nigeria Senior Men's Basketball team, D’tigers.
The Team of the Year award went to the senior men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, following their heroics in claiming the 2015 Afrobasket Championship trophy in Tunisia.
Feyisetan, a power lifting coach received the award for the Coach of the Year, while his athlete, Loveline Obiji, won the Sports Woman of the Year award.
Another power lifting athlete under the tutelage of Feyisetan, Yakubu Adesokan received the Sports Man of the Year award following his heroics in the 2015 Africa Games in Congo.
A 2015 All Africa Games gold medallist, Efe Ajagba, received the Combat Sports Person of the Year award for second time running.
Ajagba, who said that he was proud to receive the award a second time, hinted that he would love to return for another award in 2016.
He said that he had begun training ahead of qualification for the upcoming summer Olympics in Brazil.
"I am happy about this award; it is my second time and hopefully I will be back the third time after a very good outing in Brazil,’’ Ajagba said.
The Super Eagles team captain, Ahmed Musa, received the Footballer of the Year award, while Ngozi Okobi, Super Falcons' sensational player, received the Best Female Footballer of the Year award.
Kelechi Nwanaga, who shone at the just concluded All Africa Games in Congo by claiming gold in Javelin, received the Discovery of the Year award.
Some of the other athletes, who won awards at the event, are: Balqis Otunla who is recognised as the Weightlifter of the Year following her record breaking performance at the Africa Games and Tosin Oke, Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
In the School sports event, Eyeanugie Primary School Benin City, Edo received the award for their outstanding performances in the year.
The Director General of the National Sports Commission, Yakmut Alhassan, was conferred with the award of Sports Administrator of the Year, while Ganiu Yussuf received the Photo Journalist of the Year award just as Punch Newspaper reporter, Tana Aiyejina, clinched the Best Journalist of the Year award for the print media.
Chinasia Ibonye, a broadcaster with City Fm received the Sports Journalist of the Year award for radio, while Austin Okon-Akpan of Channels Television, when home with the Television Journalist of the Year award.