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Sports News of Monday, 28 August 2000

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Myles-Mills wins SWAG top award

Leo Myles-Mills, a Ghanaian athlete based in the United States, has been crowned the Sportsman and Athlete of the year 1999, by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) at its silver jubilee gala night held at the National Theatre.

He was presented with the Kofi Annan Award donated by the UN Secretary General on his visit to Accra a fortnight ago. Myles-Mills, current Africa 100-metre sprint champion was among 17 other sportsmen and sportswomen presented with awards for their outstanding performances in 1999. Seven other sports veterans including Nana Kumi Gyamfi I (C. K. Gyamfi) former skipper of the Black Stars, Abedi Ayew Pele and Ghana Brewery Company (GBC) received the millennium awards at the ceremony spiced with musical interludes by top Ghanaian hi-life stars. This year's award was a departure from the previous 24 editions, which were characterised by dinner/dance. The night could best be described as a replica of the US Grammy awards, which also featured Ghanaian rap king, Lord Kenya, the Marriot International Band, the Winneba Youth Choir and the Pan-African Orchestra.

The night was also given an international flavour with Jenny Horricks of the BBC Fast Track fame as one of the presenters. But before the other awardees could mount the podium for their prizes, one Yaw Korankye broke protocol, as he could not stand the might of the indigenous African rhythm performed by the Pan African Orchestra. He mounted the podium and started to dance to some popular African tunes performed by the group. The 1,500 audience could not help it but applaud to the 61-year old man.

Other award-winners were Osei Kuffour of Bayern Munich fame as footballer of the year, Kofi Jantuah, professional boxer of the Year and Osumanu Adama, amateur boxer. Accra Hearts of Oak was the top scoring club, Ishmael Addo, goal king, Alex Quartey, referee of the year, Shelley Ogoe-Panford, tennis, Ivy Aryeetey promising star and Alfred Cudjoe, hockey.

The rest were Gifty Addy, Prospect of the Year, Godson Asem- Taekwondo and Memunatu Abiba Sulemana (Black Queens), Assistant referee Justice Yeboah and Vida Anim will be presented with special awards. The millennium award-winners were the late Roy Ankrah, first African Commonwealth champion, Eddie Blay, silver medallist at the Rome Olympic games in 1960 and Commonwealth gold medallist and Azumah Nelson, World Featherweight Champion for 12 years.

C. K. Gyamfi, who was the coach when Ghana won both the 1963 and 1965 Africa Cup of Nations trophies and Abedi Ayew Pele, former skipper of the Black Stars, Mike Ahey and Alice Anum Athletics division, were also honoured for their achievements. The late Ohene Djan, first black sports administrator in the Gold Coast, won the Personality Award, while Ghana Brewery limited snatched the sponsor of the millennium award.

Below is the list of past winners of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) awards.

1974- D. K. Poison 1975- D. K. Poison
1976- Nil
1977- Richard "Scorpion" Ofosu
1978- Azumah Nelson
1979- Nil
1980- Azumah Nelson
1981- Azumah Nelson
1982- Nil
1983- Nil
1984- Azumah Nelson
1985- Azumah Nelson
1986- Azumah Nelson
1987- Azumah Nelson
1988- Azumah Nelson
1989- Nana Yaw Konadu
1990- Abedi Ayew Pele
1991- Black Starlets
1992- Tony Yeboah
1993- Abedi Ayew Pele/Tony Yeboah
1994- Ike Quartey
1995- Ike Quartey
1996- Ike Quartey
1997- Ike Quartey
1998- Raymond Narh
1999-Leo Myles-Mills