JUSTINA OKPANKU, LAGOS
African Sports Tourism Week (ASTW), a pan-African sports travel trade event, will induct high-profile personalities into its Hall of Fame in Lagos, Nigeria next month. The big names include the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwoolu and his Oyo State counterpart, Gov. Seyi Makinde, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of Youth & Sports, Sunday Dare, and President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amani Pinnick as well as Didier Drogba and …General of the National Council on Art and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe.
Other individuals up for induction include Moyo Ogunseinde – Founder or Upbeat Recreational Centre/Chairperson of Lagos Gymnastics Association, Benedict Peters – Founder/MD of Aiteo, Antwi Kwadwo – CEO of Ghana Tourism Development Company, Allen Onyema – Chairman of Air Peace, Akwasi Agyeman – CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Barrister. Seyi Akinwunmi 1st Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, the Director-General, the National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism (NIHOTOUR); Ben Nunoo Mensah, President of Ghana Olympic Committee, Elder Gbenga Olowo, Chairman of Sabre West Africa, Abimbola Ilo, CEO of Integral, and Bukola Olopade, organizer of Lagos City Marathon.
The organisers of the event explained why some notable individuals will be inducted into the prestigious African Sports Tourism Hall of Fame for pushing the frontiers of sports tourism and encouraging people to travel for sporting purposes, especially within their countries and the continent at large. They said like the maiden edition, the tournament will hold in Ikoyi Club 1938 – on November 12, 2021, before moving to Abuja for the FCT leg.
It is understood that different travel associations will also slug it out for a trophy, medals and prizes, at Tourism Soccer League, which will hold on November 6, 2021. According to the organizers, the induction will take place alongside the African Sports Tourism Summit & Masterclass, one of the activities of the week, at Radisson Blu Anchorage, Victoria Island, Lagos.
African Sports Tourism Weeks holds annually in different African destinations. It was last held in Accra, Ghana.
Speaking during a virtual media briefing, the founder and convener of African Sports Tourism Week, Prince Deji, said “We are excited to bring ASTW back to Lagos where it all started in 2018. This is also because some of the people that matter are beginning to pay attention to the gospel of sports- tourism we have been propagating across Africa.
We now have Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi and a few others we will later reveal as grand patrons and patrons of African Sports Tourism Week. ASTW Nigeria 2021, he said, should outclass the past editions. “We are equally grateful to NANTA, ATPN, African Tourism Board, and Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, for the partnership extended towards the event,” he also noted.
Other activities are lined up for the Week. Deji said the 2021 edition of ASTW will feature the second edition of Diplomacy Stableford, the golf tournament annually held go celebrate diplomats, diplomacy, human migration, travel, and tourism.