At least 22 Nigerians including the minister of sports, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi were yesterday identified and honoured by the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Choi Jong-hyun for their enormous contributions to the development of taekwondo in the country.
Other prominent sports personalities honoured at the award ceremony held in Abuja were the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, president of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Dr. Jonathan Nanji and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gideon Akinsola.
Grand Masters like Kofi Anan, Emmanuel Ikpeme, Dominic Bassey as well as Abdullahi Saidu, Tayo Popoola, George Ashiru, Joyce Ezeala-Ogundare and Chinedu Ezeala were also honoured.
Leading the award list for other categories was three time Olympian, Chika Chukwumerije, Ferguson Oluigbo, best referee, Usuman Sulaiman, best national player, Omowa Omorege, best female player, Ibrahim Yahuza, best coach just as little Agada Elijah Agada from Benue State emerged outstanding juvenile athlete.
Speaking, the Korean Ambassador thanked the awardees for contributing to the development of taekwondo in Nigeria.
"We want to encourage Nigerians who have been pioneers in encouraging and developing taekwondo in Nigeria. I am surprised how popular this sport which was born in Korea is getting in Nigeria".
He also reiterated the commitment of the Republic of South Korea and the Korea Cultural Centre to the promotion and development of the sport in Nigeria.
On his part, the minister of sports, Malam Abdullahi who expressed gratitude for the award given to him as a leading supporter of taekwondo said he was witnessing such award ceremony for the first time.
He also pledged his ministry's commitment to the development of all sports including taekwondo just as he commended the government and people of the Republic of Korea for giving unflinching support to the sport in Nigeria.
"I am delighted to be here. This is my first time to witness this award ceremony. I am also excited by the award given to me. I must thank the government and people of Korea for supporting taekwondo in Nigeria".
The hugely successful award ceremony held at Sheraton Hotel Abuja was attended by many taekwondo enthusiasts across the country.