Lynette Matheka @PeopleSports11
Kenyans will have to wait a little longer to know the final list of nominees for the 14th edition of the prestigious Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) as the selection panel waits for different disciplines whose seasons are still on to end before coming up with the legitimate winners in all categories.
With stiff competition expected in all the categories following a great sporting year, categories will remain 16 as has been in past for the January 17 event, themed “Passing the Button”, where the best in Kenyan sports will be awarded for their splendid performance in the entire season.
“This has been an exciting year for our athletes as we have seen the rise of new stars in the different disciplines and this is the direction Kenyan sport need to take as the wave of change takes over.
Hosting the World Under 18 athletics championship was an eye opener as Kenyans saw the future of the country and what we can achieve,” said SOYA panel chairperson Watson Karuma.
While explaining the choice of theme for the event, Karuma said the changes that have happened, including having a new-look National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) among others, should also be reflected in the appointment of the Sports Cabinet Secretary.
“Our theme not only reflects passing on the sports disciplines to the rising stars that look poised to take over from their seniors but also in matters management where people who have the sport at heart should be handed leading roles.
The Cabinet Secretary for instance should be fit for the job,” added Karuma. Meanwhile, event organisers received a shot in the arm from two long-time sponsors, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Communications Authority (CA) who both gave a combined Sh2.5million.
NSSF increased their sponsorship from last year’s Sh 1million to Sh1.5 million while CA contributed Sh1million. “The active life of any athlete is not that long and for this reason, athletes should save up for their ‘after glory’ days.
This will ensure a peaceful retirement,” said NSSF Public Relations Manager Christopher Khisa while calling on athletes to make use of the fund and save up for their life after active sports.