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Sports News of Sunday, 3 August 2003

Source: GNA

Simpson tops all

Accra Aug 3, GNA - Margaret Simpson, made history on Saturday when she became the first woman to be crowned, Sports Personality of the year, at the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) 28th Annual Awards Night held in Accra.

Simpson's history making feat was inspired by her outstanding performances, which won her bronze and gold at last year's Commonwealth Games held in Manchester and African Athletics Championship in Tunisia respectively.

Incidentally Simpson's bronze medal in the heptathlon was the only medal Ghana won in the games.

The history making Sports Personality of the year award was not the only decoration Simpson won on the night as was she also declared the Athlete of the Year.

Simpson currently based in Mauritius flew down for the ceremony and was decorated by President John Agyekum Kufuor, who was the special guest of honour at the ceremony.

The 20-year old athlete also received a special award from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in addiction to some fabrics from the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), kits from Adidas, a carton of blue jeans energy drinks, from Budget Cash and Carry and a certificate of honour plus a trophy for each award.

Simpson told the GNA Sports after receiving her awards that she least expected the honour and expressed her appreciation to the association. "I had never dreamt that a day would come when I would be honoured in this manner to the extent of interacting with the head of state," she said.

She called on Ghanaians to support and pray for her in her quest to make the nation proud at the All African Games slated for Abuja, Nigeria in October.

In other awards, Charles Taylor formerly of Accra Hearts of Oak now with Kumasi Asante Kotoko received the award of the Footballer of the Year.

Taylor made it a double in a joint goal king award with Hearts Bernard Don Bortey after both scored 18 goals apiece in the 2002 season. Florence Okoe of La Ladies and a member of the women national team, Black Queens emerged as the female footballer of the year.

For scoring the highest number of goals last season, defending league Champions, Hearts of Oak took the award, which they have virtually made their own after winning it for the sixth consecutive year, with 72 goals.

Another record was broken when for the first time the Team of the Year's Award went to the Black Queens who are currently gearing up for the fourth edition of the FIFA Women World Cup billed for the United States in September.

Alberta Sackey, skipper of the side received the award and later told cup.

The Discovery of the Year and the Most Promising Star awards went to Jordan Opoku and Kwadwo Poku of Feyenord Academy and Kumasi King Faisal respectively.

For scoring 19 times in the Greater Accra Hockey League in addition to his outstanding performance, Patrick Taylor was given the Hockey Star of the year award while Abena Amponsah Addo took home that of the females.

The Volleyball Star of the Year award went to Edward Seidu Adjanako Addo, while the Dedication and Valour award went Bobby Abdul Rahman of Real Tamale United (RTU).

James Toney emerged as the Professional Boxer of the Year while Joseph Willington was given the Referee of the Year award.

King Tony Akwetey was given a special certificate of honour for being the oldest marathoner at the age of 72, while Oko Niikoi Dzani also received certificates of honour for contributing to the development of hockey.

All the fifteen award winners took home a half piece of wax prints from the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), sports kits from Adidas, a certificate, a carton of blue jeans energy from Budget Cash and Carry and a trophy each.

Certificates of honour were given to Nestle Ghana Limited and NDK financial services for contributing to the development of sports.