The Sports Writers Association of Ghana
The annual Awards night was the brainchild of Mr. B.B. Bismark, a keen sports enthusiast and one-time Team Manager of the Black Stars who later became a SWAG Patron. (He was later enstooled Aburihene). Mr. Bismark mooted the idea of an annual Awards night at an informal meeting with the Secretary, Eugene Thompson, and Mr. Ken Bediako, then of the Daily Graphic at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
The awards recognizes, rewards and honours outstanding achievements of (deserving) Ghanaian sportsmen, sportswomen, teams and officials in various disciplines (i.e. the crème de la crème persons, who bring glory and honour to themselves and the nation).
It also recognises the contribution of individuals and organisations that contribute positively to the development and promotion of Ghana's sports. It is also a platform for interaction between these sports stars and influential members of society, for stocktaking and agenda-setting, to accelerate Ghana's sports development. the event venue moved a number of times (in order to accommodate the numbers year-on-year).
Over a long period, the Banquet Hall, State House remained the home for the annual dinner dance event until 2017 where the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) has been the venue because of the international convention for sports awards.
Mr. Bismark bought the first two trophies for the awards -– Best Player and GoalKing -- which went to Akuetteh Armah of Kumasi Cornerstone and Peter Lamptey of Accra Hears of Oak, respectively. Two years after the maiden awards, Kumasi Brewery Limited (KBL), headed by the late Dennis Beesley (who was later made a SWAG Patron), offered to sponsor the annual SWAG Awards. KBL did it in such a grand manner, making it the topmost annual event for the sporting fraternity. The KBL-SWAG deal lasted for nearly two decades.
As a result, since 1976, the annual event has been organized with the support of key corporate partners as major sponsors. The first Awards night was held at the Ambassador Hotel in Accra in 1974. Subsequently, the event has grown tremendously over the last 46 years. Being one of the most anticipated events on the nation's sporting calendar, it has become the biggest single gathering of the movers and shakers of Ghana sports.
As Ghana's most prestigious celebration of sporting excellence, SWAG Awards is the only Awards event that has had a sitting Heads of State (President) and sitting Vice Presidents like H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, H.E John Evans Atta Mills, the late, Osaguefuo Amoatia Oforipayin, Okyehene of Akyem Abuakwa, Ɔseadeɛyo Agyeman Badu II, Dormahene, Togbe Afede XIV, Chief of Asogli Traditional Area as the special Guests of Honour.
The Awards was once moved from Accra to Kumasi where Otumfuo Osei Tutu II graced the event at the Prempeh Assembly Hall as the Special Guest of Honour. The ceremony has been graced by sitting Presidents like H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Former President President John Agyekum Kufuor, H.E John Evans Atta Mills, the late and has enjoyed international flavour with the attendance of guests such as Mr. Gianni Merlo, the AIPS President (Italian), Mr. Danny Jordaan, LOC Chairman of World Cup South Africa 2010, Mr. Jacques Anoma from Cote d'Ivoire and other members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Among guests of the Awards are prominent sports stars, traditional leaders, corporate executives and the general public.
Ghana's first-ever and longest-running platform for celebrating sports achievements has honoured over 1,000 individuals, teams and organisations since its inception.