The 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Award (Soya) Friday received a Sh3.75 million boost from Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) and SuperSport/MultiChoice Kenya.
The country’s sportsmen and women, who performed well during 2018 will be rewarded during the Soya gala slated for January 11 at Fort Jesus, Mombasa.
CA Director for Frequency Spectrum Management, Tom Olwero delivered a cheque of Sh3 million while GOtv Kenya General Manager Simon Kariithi presented a cheque of Sh750,000 during a ceremony at Laico Regency Hotel.
Soya brand ambassador Douglas Wakiihuri, the 1987 World marathon champion, received the cheques on behalf of the organisers.
Olwero said his company is proud to have partnered with Soya for the past nine years since they believe in the spirit of sportsmanship. “We also acknowledge the role sports plays in Kenya and the great effort our sportsmen and women put in to excel,” said Olwero.
Olwero explained that talent identification and mentorship remain a main area for nurturing talent.
"Over the years, we have seen young boys and girls recognised under the Most Promising category go on to win medals at major international events. This does not only show that Kenya has abundant talent but also possible to identify such talent at an early age and mould them to success," said Olwero.
Kariithi reassured the event organisers of MultiChoice Kenya’s commitment to promote sports in the country.
“Our DStv and GOtv brands have been tailored for sports entertainment hence a powerful way to tell stories that open our minds, bring people together around shared passions,” said Kariithi. “We are proud to be associated with the leading sport personalities who proudly fly the Kenyan flag high across the world.
Wakiihuri acknowledged the support corporates like CA and Multichoice Kenya give towards rewarding the country’s sports heroes and heroines. “We celebrate these partnerships as we also do for our sportsmen and women’s exemplary performances," said Wakiihuri.
Soya gala is being held outside Nairobi for the first time.
A panel of judges led by James Wokabi has been going through the nominations and the public will be keen to know who will be declared the finest of the highly competitive 2018 season.
Visually challenged Paralypian Samwel Mushai was the 2017 Soya winner.
The 15th edition is being sponsored by Safaricom Limited, Mombasa County, Kenya Power (KP) Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), New KCC and LapFund.