Soya public voting kicks off

Sunday December 23 2018

Kenya's 2017 Sports Personality of the Year Samwel Mushai with his guide James Boit (left) display's the trophy on January 17, 2018 during Sports Personality of the Year Awards Gala at Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya's 2017 Sports Personality of the Year Samwel Mushai with his guide James Boit (left) display's the trophy at the 2018 gala. The 2019 SOYA gala will be held in Mombasa. PHOTO | FILE|  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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The 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) public voting is now open.

In a statement released by Simon Chebon on behalf of the organisers, the public can cast their votes for their favourites athletes by dialling *279# on their mobile phones and follow prompts. The voting will end on January 9 next year.

“Public votes will account for 30 per cent of the final tally as presented by the panel of judges,” he said.

The winners will be announced during the 2018 Soya Gala night two days later at the historic Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

At the same time, Football Kenya Federation (FKF), the 2016 winners Tennis Kenya and Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) are among federations that will battling for the Sports Federation of the Year during the Soya Gala. The other nominees are Athletics Kenya and Chess Federation of Kenya.

FKF earned their nominations after Harambee Stars ended their 15-year wait to qualify for Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be held next year in a venue yet to be decided. The federation has also trained a total of 108 referees who have earned their Confederation of African Football (Caf) badges. 1,328 football coaches  have also undergone basic and advanced training.

The Nick Mwenda-led federation has also for the first time distributed grants to Women Premier League (WPL) teams as well run under-13 and under-15 leagues that brought together over 25,000 kids countrywide.

The national under-17 team reached semi finals of this year’s Cecafa in Burundi while the women’s national team Harambee Starlets finished fourth in Cosafa held in Zimbabwe earlier this year.

Team Kenya’s qualification to Davis Cup Group Two Championships as well as the International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty to witness the ground breaking of Tennis Kenya Centre are some of Tennis Kenya’s 2018 season. They were also vted the most outstanding federation development programme in Africa.

KSSSA led the country’s successful title defence campaign that saw Kenyan teams dominate the regional games in Rwanda where they retained the overall title.

Athletics Kenya started 2018 with Team Kenya’s domination at the Africa Cross Country Championships in Algeria, winning gold in both senior men and women races as well as the under 20 events and the overall title.

In June, AK picked a strong side that topped the medal table at the World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland and a month later they put up a successful bid to win the hosting rights of the 2020 World Under 20 Athletics Championships. In August, team Kenya won the Africa Athletics Championships title in Asaba, Nigeria.

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