A record 20 individuals have been shortlisted for the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Award (Soya) School coach of the year accolade.
Siblings Thomas and Victor Walgwe headline the list, making it the first time two brothers have been nominated for the award, whose winner will be crowned at a gala on January 24, 2020 in Mombasa.
Thomas guided Upper Hill rugby sevens side to their maiden national title, beating the then defending champions Laiser Hill, before crowning their enviable season with the East Africa title in Arusha.
On the other hand, Victor led Dagoretti High School rugby 15’s team to winning the Nairobi Region title and finished second at both the national and East Africa Games.
Dagoretti High School’s coach Joseph Makokha, who coached their football team to a silver medal at the national games, is the second nominee from the school. The tactician guided his side to the semi-finals of the East Africa Games before finishing fourth.
Another nominee for the coveted award is Kwanthanze Girls’ volleyball tactician, Justin Kigwari, who guided his team to a double; winning both the national and regional titles. This was the team’s fifth East Africa Games trophy and third in succession.
Kakamega High School’s rugby 15’s coach Amos Wamanga also made the cut after guiding the side to reclaim the national title they had last won in 2017 (8th title). Under his tutelage, Kakamega High also won recaptured the East Africa Games 15’s title they’d last won in 2016.
After being deployed to Mbooni Boys from St Luke’s Kimilili, handball coach Gerald Juma helped the team win silver medal at the national finals, which earned his side their maiden ticket to the regional Games.
Others in the 20-man list are Kepha Nyaundi, who led St Joseph’s Kirandich to their maiden national title in girls’ handball and a silver at the regional games.
Julius Otieno, who helped Buruburu Girls’ basketball team end their 18-year trophy drought by winning the national title before finishing fourth at the East Africa Games, is also in the mix, so is Cheptil Girls’ volleyball coach, Stephen Mutai. Cheptil finished second at both national and regional championships.
Other nominees are Mogonga PAG’s volleyball tactician Nathan Kiptoo, Kelvin Lugalia of St. Anthony’s Boys Kitale (hockey); Peter Mayoyo (St. Anthony’s Boys Kitale football), Godfrey Muleyi of Friends School Kamusinga (hockey), Kaya Tiwi’s basketball and netball coach Philip Onyango and St Luke’s Kimilili Boys handball coach Wekesa Wangwa.
List of the Soya school coach of the year nominees
1. Thomas Walgwe (Upper Hill, rugby 7s)
2. Victor Walgwe (Dagoretti, rugby 15s)
3. Justin Kigwari (Kwanthanze, girls’ volleyball)
4. Joseph Makokha (Dagoretti High School, football)
5. Amos Wamanga (Kakamega High School, rugby 15)
6. Gerald Juma (Mbooni, boys’ handball)
7. Kepha Nyaundi (St Joseph’s Kirandich, girls’ handball)
8. Julius Otieno (Buruburu Girls, basketball)
9. Stephen Mutai (Cheptil, girls’ volleyball)
10. Nathan Kiptoo (Mogonga PAG, boys’ volleyball)
11. Kelvin Lugalia (St. Anthony’s, boys’ hockey)
12. Peter Mayoyo (St. Anthony’s, boys’ football)
13. Godfrey Muleyi (Friends School Kamusinga, boys’ hockey)
14. Phillip Onyango (Kaya Tiwi, girls’ basketball and netball)
15. Wekesa Wangwa (St. Luke’s Kimilil, boys’ handball)
16. Edgar Manyara ( Wiyeta, girls’ football)
17. Enock Wangira (Meru School, boys’ hockey)
18. Rodgers Wekesa (Garissa Boystown, boys’ football)
19. Chrispine Odindo (Nyakach, girls’ football)
20. Godfrey Simiyu (Moi Girls Kamusinga, handball)