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Sports News of Monday, 22 December 2008

Source: GNA

Agbeko - SWAG Sports Personality of the Year

... Essien named Player of the Year
Accra, Dec 22, GNA - International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight champion, Joseph Agbeko has been crowned the Sports Personality of the Year, 2007 by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG).

Agbeko, who made a successful defence of his title two weeks ago against Nicaraguan William Gonzalez, courtesy a majority decision was decorated by the Association with the topmost honour at its 33rd Awards Night held at the Round Pavilion, Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in Accra last Saturday.

The petit-boxer who turns 29 next March becomes the first from the noble art of self defence to win the flagship award in recent times after almost half a decade of dominance by athletes and footballers. Dressed in a black suit with black shoes, Agbeko who was also adjudged the Professional Boxer of the Year received his prize from Special Guest of Honour, Peter Osei Duah, Managing Director of State Insurance Corporation (SIC) amidst cheers and jeers from the almost-packed pavilion dominated by the cr=E8me de la cr=E8me of Ghana sports.

"I dedicate this award to peace and to all Ghanaians and I urge all to conduct themselves peacefully during the forthcoming run-off of the Presidential election scheduled for Sunday, December 28. "I also thank my fans, members of my team and above all SWAG for the recognition," Agbeko said after receiving his award.

Injured Black Stars and Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien was named the Best Footballer of the Year.

The London-based star, whose award was received on his behalf by ex-Black Stars defender Tony Baffoe, beat compatriots Sulley Muntari and Laryea Kingston to the prize.

The surprise package of the night was the National Paralympic Team, backed by their impressive outing at the last All Africa Games in Algiers, Algeria to claim three awards.

The Paralympic team was honoured as the Team of the Year, with Armstrong Aidoo and Ajara Mohammed picking up the Coach of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year awards respectively.
Other award winners included Ransford Osei - Promising Player of the Year, Moussa Narry Discovery of the Year, John Ainoo - Dedication and Valour, Mirabel Lamptey - Female Hockey Player of the Year, Joseph Appiah - Male Hockey Player of the Year, Rozina Lomo - Handball Player of the Year, Afful Williams - Cyclist of the Year and Manyo Plange - Amateur Boxer of the Year.
There were also Special Awards for Atta Eddie Pappoe, Daniel Arhin and Margaret Simpson for their contributions to boxing, disabled sports and athletics.
The highlight of the night was the induction of retired commentator and first president of SWAG, Joe Lartey into the Association's Council of Patrons.
In his remarks, The Special Guest of Honour, Mr Duah commended the award winners for their untiring efforts to bring sports to the limelight and urged them to build on their successes for the future. Ackah Anthony, President of SWAG also thanked corporate institutions and individuals who contributed immensely towards the success of the event.
Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Graphic Communications Group Limited, Gemini Life Insurance Company (GLICO). Kenpong Construction Works, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, Kasapreko Distilleries, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Ghana and Voltic were amongst the main sponsors for the event.


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