Nigeria Rugby President, Kelechukwu Mbagwu received an award for the National Institute for Sports outstanding sports personality of the decade – Rugby at a Gala event held at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday.
Mbagwu received the award for his contributions to Rugby in Nigeria in the last fifteen years and his role in Nigeria’s successful bid to host the Africa Silver Cup in June, 2019 which will see Nigeria play Botswana, Madagascar and Ghana in Lagos amongst other achievements.
Having assumed the role of NRFF president in July 2017, Mbagwu quickly set up an administrative office for the federation in Surulere Lagos named ‘The Rugby House’. He then played a central role in ensuring a constitution was ratified by stakeholders of Nigeria Rugby in March 2018 and got Nigeria back on track following a suspension.
Kelechukwu Mbagwu hails from Abia State. He studied Geography at the University of Ibadan and had his master’s degree in the UK. When he returned, he joined Lagos Rugby Club. The only rugby club in Lagos at the time where he became the club’s Secretary in 1999. He co-founded Racing Rugby Club alongside Dele Coker and Iby Obatoyinbo in the year 2000 and was a Trustee of the club. He then founded and sponsored Cowrie Rugby Club in the 2005/2006 season. He groomed the club from strugglers in the league to Lagos League Champions in 2008 and Nigerian champions in 2016. He was able to achieve this by introducing semi-professionalism structure into club rugby administration by employing players thereby making them part-time athletes to enable players concentrate on work and rugby and this brought about positive results.
The NIS Awards of Sporting Excellence, convocation/lecture and investiture of honorary fellows of the institute, as well as recognition awards for sports journalism was organised to mark the silver jubilee of the institute. The gala convocation involved graduates who have completed their training programmes
The National Institute for Sports is a statutory institution set up for sports research, training and development of sports personnel in Nigeria.
For 25 years, the Institute has in dedication to its vision delivered on its statutory mandate to produce over 15,000 graduates in sports. All of whom have continued to place Nigeria on the global sporting map.