Monday, 31 March 2008

Weekend Wrap

The last weekend of March 2008 had its fair share of sports action, as the rains pounded most parts of the country. This was occasioned by the following highlights;
Kenya had a fair start to the inaugural start to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament which targets players playing from the country’s domestic league. Their first leg tie against Tanzania ended in a 1-0 win with the return match 2 weeks from now.

The once-dominant ‘Hit Squad’ got 4 more boxers to represent Kenya in the Beijing Olympics to be held in China in August. The 2nd round of qualifications was held in Windhoek, Namibia. These include; Aziz Ali-light heavy, Bernard Ngumba-flyweight, Nickson Abaka-welterweight and Nick Okoth-featherweight. These join Suleiman Bilali- light-flyweight who will also captain the team.
Let’s hope this revives the strength of the team which was a regular feature in the King’s Cup in Bangkok, Commonwealth, All-Africa Games and Olympics where they gave Africa her 1st ever gold medal through Robert Wangila Napunyi –welterweight in 1988, 20 years ago.

From the Bamburi Rugby Super Series, Lions will meet the Rhinos after the former beat Nguvu Sharks 30-14 while the latter won their tie 39-13 against Cheetahs. This ensured an all-Kenyan final after the 2 invited teams from Tanzania didn’t make it thus far. For more details, check

Free for all in Hong Kong IRB Sevens -Kenya vs China
(Photo courtesy of IRB Sevens)
The Kenyan team showed why it will be a force to reckon with within the IRB Sevens series by qualifying for the quarter-finals unbeaten and topping their pool against China (47-0), Portugal (19-7) and Scotland (19-7). This meant the team collected 8 points ending the IRB series at 32 points with at least 3 rounds to go. This means the team jumps into 5th place in the IRB Sevens rankings.

The Kenyan cross-country team could not match the Ethiopians who came back to take all the 4 races were taken by their northern neighbours. It was sweet victory for Kenenisa Bekele who swore not to have given up x-country after his loss last year. To make it even more captivating, the diminutive Ethiopian lost his shoe in the first few laps but managed to regain his composure and made mince meat of his opponents. It was a historic win for the young man making him the first man to win the Seniors Cross-country title for the 6th time.

Turnesh Dibaba -Ethiopian athletic queen makes her comeback from last year's 2nd place.
(Photo courtesy of IAAF)
Turnesh Dibaba made it 2 out of 4 with the women’s Senior title while her sister Gezebe Dibaba who,took the juniors women’s race and Ibrahim Jeilan finished off the Ethiopian blitz.
While I maybe viewed as a skeptic, I didn’t expect any magical performance from my Kenyan countrymen, who as expected took 2 team titles in the men’s races. Their training was disrupted earlier this year and their technique of running and winning races has become anyone’s strategy. A lack of consistency is also a point to note, but look at how many athletes we have produced in the last 5 years? With the Ethiopians reading this fast, the Eritreans are hot in pursuit with Ugandans and other countries now making entreaties in what was Kenya’s assured title(s). I’m sure the Athletics Kenya officials will be quick to use these excuses but they better start thinking hard about our coaching and technical expertise as well as the qualification strategy. These issues will come into play again as we take our athletes to the Beijing Olympics Games later this year. More on this check the blog article below.

World X-Country Championships- Is Kenya X'ed ?

The Winner's Podium for the Men's Senior Race

From the weekend’s activities at the world cross-country championships, I’ll not say I’m surprised with what went on in Edinburgh for the Kenyan team. I’ll also not be surprised that the usual excuses will crop up this time with an even better rider; it was because of the post-election violence!
I’ll not dwell on the latter since I guess it’s still a sensitive topic given that most of our athletes come from parts of the country which were most affected by this. But let’s evaluate this from a critical point of view;
Kenya last won the senior men’s individual title in 1999, since then, it has been a losing battle, and each year it ebbs away even further. Back then, Ethiopian athletes had started emerging given the challenge made by Haile Gebreselassie who has often said that Bekele is the athlete most likely to succeed and maybe even exceed his exploits, then left the trail for Kenenisa Bekele who has scorched the events and this weekend made history by becoming only the first man to win the senior men’s title 6 times. At the peak of his time, the guy could win the junior men’s title on one day and follow it up with the senior men’s race on the other.

Bekele: 'I thought I told you so !

How can this be you ask?
If you look at the training regime of our athletes and that of the Ethiopians, there is a telling difference. First, the Ethiopians will go into camp almost 3 months before a major event. Thanks to their authoritarian regime which supports them immensely thus letting the athletes have a sense of privacy and non-distraction when training. The athletes are also culturally well in tune with their country’s heritage and will at all times seek to retain it thus. (It’s worth noting, there are very few if any athletes who will attempt to change citizenship in this country).
Back to the training, the athletes have for long be known to have a lethal last-minute kick, which has devastated their opponents (ask Paul Tergat from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to the 2000 Sydney Olympics). As for endurance, the Ethiopians highlands have helped these athletes develop breathing techniques which aid in their longevity in lasting any race from 5-42km race. Look at all world records starting from the 5000m to the 42km marathon event.
As relates to the cross-country, this is where they have perfected the art and seem to have stronghold for years to come. The event is usually a run of 6-12 km depending on the seniority and its run in a couple of laps on a marked course. The course has ups and downs and muddy as well as rough stretches. This makes it very tricky for runners.
As is with any event, technique and skills have to be applied to their maximum for one to win the race. Last year’s event was one of the trickiest in the history of the event, with the low altitude and humid conditions taking their toll even on Kenenisa Bekele himself. But this is always expected as the weather is usually another condition that makes the race interesting.
The Ethiopians have managed to raise their bar and won most of these events in recent years thanks to strict management by the minders and also a sense of national pride in winning. Most of their athletes have learnt not to participate in just any race (especially the energy-sapping Grand Prix events, which our Kenyan brothers have flooded by their droves). They also retain a manageable number of athletes hence its easier to determine who runs what and where.
Ours has been a generous feeder programme which produces so many athletes that at times I even lose track of them ( honestly tell me 3 member of the team in the 2006 World Cross-Country Kenyan team, anyone try ?) An another issue of concern is our technical expertise, surely if for the last 9 years, Kenya hasn’t won the individual title after 2 of its own had won the race 5 consecutive times (John Ngugi between 1984-9 & Paul Tergat 1994-9) then something is wrong.
Part of the problem I’ll apportion to the Athletics Kenya officials, some of whom I guess it’s time they called it quits. These guys need to act as advisory to a new team or move on with other careers altogether. Theirs has been a sojourn into the unknown fields of heartbreak of loss. This to some extent affects the technical bench which is always seconded to the team by this ‘journeymen’. I’ll hope athletics enthusiasts and practitioners will see to this when elections are called up.

Far right: Genzebe Dibaba eventual winner of Women's Junior race

Another bone goes to the athletes themselves. When the country lays much hope on you, it only follows that you honour them with your best performance. What happens when you are out there running? Do you do it as an individual only after fame and the lucrative race that then proceed through the season, or is there a sense of pride in what you do? Look at other athletes, most of whom relish their wins albeit when they turn up 2nd or 3rd in a race. Maybe it’s the Government’s role that hasn’t been really motivational (though that seems to be changing though slowly) but then when our two heroes won their races, not much in terms of motivation was in pace (both served as Army men during their careers and one still serves).
I’ll not expect much of change next year and it pains me if no fundamental plans are made to ensure stifling of this decline. To make matters worse the same will most likely be duplicated in the junior world championships and Olympics at Beijing.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Weekend Action

Kenyan sportsmen have another opportunity of putting the country back to where it belongs at the world map and restore the national pride from the early year’s lowest moments.
Two main sports events which Kenya will feature include;
World Cross-Country Championships in Edinburgh,Scotland
I’m sure after last year’s success (at team level), the athletes have a huge task of winning some individual titles especially the coveted senior men’s and women races. The event was hosted in Mombasa, with the countrymen trying to claim glory at what was referred to as “Home of Cross-Country running”- which Steve Cram of England ( IAAF British official and former 800m& 1500m athlete) had differed with last year. Let’s not call attention to that point for now, that’s for another article.
Each of the senior events covers about 8km for women and 12 km for men while the juniors will hope to cover 6 and 8 km each. Going by the history of the event, Kenyans will be a challenge for the team titles, but individual titles will be a hard fight. Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele will be coming back from last year’s embarrassment when he had to end his race prematurely after heat exhaustion and dehydration at the Mombasa circuit. Eritrean Zersenay Tadesse gladly took up the lead which had seemed like a 2-man race and won the race by a margin of over 5 seconds.
The same can be said of the senior women’s where Kenyan-born Dutch runner, Lorna Kiplagat won the race convincingly leading for the better part of the race and relegating the Ethiopian ladies to 2nd and 3rd while the Kenyans took fringe positions but took the team title.
This being a tight race to predict and coming against the back-drop of some late but intense preparations for the Kenyan team, it will be good to see who takes up the mantle of the Cross-country race(s). Junior athlete Asbel Kiprop is looking formidable coming into this year’s event as are Gideon Ng'atuny and Augustine Cheruiyot hoping to anchor Kenya to its first senior men’s title in 7 years.
The Junior races open the events on Sunday at 1300 hours with the climax being the Senior men’s race on Sunday late afternoon. For more information check
Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong
The Kenya Rugby team takes another round of the IRB series this time held in Hong Kong. Having come from the San Diego Sevens in USA with a favourable semi-final position and collecting valuable points to lie 6th in the IRB Sevens Series standings, the team is beginning to look as the rank outsiders and keen to challenge other stronger and more experienced 7s teams like Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand and lie above England , Scotland Australia and Wales.
The team has been training quite intensively and the focus has been seen with the good start this year and a sense of patriotism seems to have propped up the team to the semi-final place in San Diego as fans came out to cheer them and Kenyans in the Diaspora showing up in good numbers too.
The team is in a fairly easy pool with China (which they beat 47-0 on Day), Portugal and Scotland. The latter two are teams to look out for since Portugal is known to be rough in its style while Scotland has been consistently qualified for the quarters in each of the rounds. Key players to look out for include Lavin Asego, Innocent Simiyu,Brian Nyikuli, Peter Ocholla and debutante George Mbaye.
Another motivating factor is the year’s long sponsorship of the team’s travel and other expenses by Virgin Atlantic. This has helped in a big way motivating players to play without the distraction of where next to raise funds for the next round. The team’s manager Oscar Osir was optimistic that with this year’s performance and improved game play, they will be able to attract even more sponsors for additional funds to invest in the teams and also setting up of a continuous local 7s build up structure to act as a feeder to the national team.
We can’t say anymore here, keep the tries, kicks and wins coming and the $$$ and glory will be all yours !

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Does Corporate Social Responsibility qualify as Sponsorship ?

I have been puzzled at times when I read some of the activities that firms in this part of the world engage in. Most firms as a friend of mine said sometime back, will always make their money -come what may, so for them to start investing in sports among other activities that are not core to their business is usually like annoyance.
When for instance, a company says it has granted a cheque of KShs. 500,000 to support the World Cross Country training camp? Does that qualify as CRS or is it sponsorship?
My belief is that most firms do not have long-term measures which they can apply to the interest of sports especially in Kenya. I mean why should a company report profits of over KShs. 1.5 billion yet they can't commit even a 1/20 of that money to sports every year ? Ambitious it might sound but take this example;
AIG Global one of the largest insurance firms in the world decided to support the Manchester United team in the English Premier League by committing $98.88 million (over Kshs6 billion ) for 4 years to have the jerseys worn by the players display 'AIG'.This was more than 50% what previous jersey sponsors Vodafone had committed to the English club. It was touted as the biggest deal of its kind when signed in 2006.
When asked why he had decided to focus on the English team and fans by extension, the CEO Mratin Sullivan replied,
"I am not buying the UK. I am buying Asia"
You see Manchester United is the world's most visible football (or soccer if you like ) team. It has been the richest club since the survey started early in the 1990s. The club has continued to have huge fan attractions especially in Asia where the fans there number around 54 % of all Manchester fans. An interesting addition to this is the recruitment of a Korean player which increased the fan base in Korea ( more than 65000 South Koreans have signed for a club-branded debit/credit card.
That tells you AIG is not in this just for show, they are in there for the long haul !
Back to the Kenyan scene, this characteristic has been displayed albeit subtly by firms like Barclays Bank investment in high school football, Standard Chartered's Nairobi Marathon and also Safaricom's Lewa Marathon & SOY Awards not forgetting Kenya Commercial Bank's rally sponsorship, to name the few companies taking the right direction.
As it is becoming evident, companies cannot afford to hide under the veil of CRS and still say they are committing to the growth of sports in Kenya. A more aggressive and deeper involvement in the industry is needed. It is also important that these firms seek involvment from the bodies governing the sport as well as existing professionals to assist with proper blueprints. That way even the sportsmen will spare no thoughts when playing as they will go for the crown. (Look at what is happening to the Kenya Rugby 7s team).
Let me say, the desire is there and the fire needs be stoked even more with this fuel. Sports without money is like a F1 car without the turbo, you'll ride the race but never be a winner !

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Beijing Olympics- Is this the lull before the storm ?

I never feel good when politics start coming into the good nature of sports. This being an Olympic, I still dream of having a rich festival of the Games. But there seems to be some really bad blood between the hosts China and the major powerhouses both in politics and sports.
First some Games organising committee consultant( we know him more for his movie productions) decided to quit over the Darfur crisis which much of humanity chooses to ignore. He said his participation would be seemingly support for the current regime in China which turns the other way when humanitarian issues are highlighted in countries they have interests in.
Early this year some small country which the Chinese have always had bad dreams about, brought another nightmare and they seem to be living it now. Tibet is the name. And street protests is the 'game'. This small state has always wanted to keep the world reminded of the bully that 'big brother China' is.
A prominent athlete last week threatened to withdraw from the Games if the pollution levels are not checked by August. This is one the authorities seem to have a major problem with since this means reducing the production levels which will in turn slow down China's fast growing industrialised economy
The media has also started raising dust with a group of 'Press without Borders' players had their stunt over the Olympic torch lighting ceremony in Greece ( well at least they would have waited till it got to China then blow a huge wind over it, but then again you always try get as much publicity from a situation as possible)
While some of the claims have their legitimacy, I don't like the way some of these are coming up so close to what ought to be one of the most memorable and highly visible Olympic Games. I'm sure the doomsayers also seem to be working overtime to see this happens.
Some of the past Games were held under similar or even worse circumstances but the world had seemingly gotten over this since the Los Angeles Games 1984 which had most of the then-Communist state boycotting them.
I'll still book my seat at my favourite sports joint ( or humble sittings at home if any of our national networks )decides to carry it.

Kenyan Football staggers along

With a few games played in the Kenyan Premier League, the lethargy is slowly coming off the world's most popular sport. I'll not have any illusions but I guess with the activities seen in the political arena, almost all citizens will want to forget some of the bad memories both recent and past as soon as possible.
It would be a good thing going if the KFF officials would extend the same olive branch, first among themselves then against the fans they've disappointed for so long. A few weeks ago, a local politician even said, 'football is a game of gentlemen watched by thugs'. Guess he knew where he was coming from.
With the TV rights seemingly doing some magic, a lot needs to done. First, the game is short of arenas especially outside the City(Nairobi). There are no suitable grounds to play on or even train on. The town and other city councils never invested in such infrastructure and those that did have no worthy grounds to talk about.
Secondly, the teams badly need corporate sponsorship. Except for say Tusker FC,Mathare United and maybe a few other teams sponsored by firms from their locality, most teams have no sponsorship ( revenues more precisely) to talk about.
Another pressing issue is the technical expertise of the bench. Most have former footballers for coaches not so much because they have the expertise but because some are the cheapest way out. Where some are coaches, no papers or professional qualifications are there to write about.
Hoping the game gets some exposure from the TV broadcasts, quality play needs to match the game. This can be learnt from English or Spanish leagues which either employ innovative marketing skills or have huge names playing in their leagues. But at the end of the day, the fans need to earn their time spent watching the game. Ask the Germans with their Bundesliga from 1980s to the current years.
I'll be watching and hopefully, the season holds a cherry at the end of the tree !

Formula 1's Magic

I envy sportsmen who earn their money in such a 'masculine' way. Not being chauvinistic, most men would love to drive any contraption and be paid for it. Now such a sport is the Formula One.
I mean, most of the vehicles or is it machines driven on the circuits never get to your day-to-day roads. They also have such serious mechanical implications that it takes like 5-10 years to adopt some of the technologies on your normal road networks. All the hype about aerodynamics and driver-to-vehicle appreciation among other things are technologies adopted like ages ago in F1.
But what I REALLY like about the F1 gurus is their marketing drive- OK no offence to Bernie Ecclestone but his eccentricity also adds spice to the sport. According to a sport business organisation in Britain- Sports Business Group at Deloitte, Formula One boasts the world’s highest revenue generating annual sporting events, with the calendar events having 18 Grands Prix in 2007 earning an average revenue of $217 million (over 13 billion shillings).
Apart from the usual fans coming in for the races, the main revenue earner for the sport is broadcasting, race sponsorship with team revenues (mainly sponsorship &commercial contributions) and circuit revenues (ticketing and other sponsorship) playing minor roles.
To make things interesting for this season, F1 has even introduced night racing where fans will be able to view the racing cars under the cover of darkness. Exciting ain't it ? Also interesting is the way the circuits have been added with a more global approach sought by the organisers. Major cities in the world are always busy fighting for inclusion each year. Dubai, Malaysia-Sepang circuit, Shanghai are some of the recent additions.
I also find the fans of this sport very particular about their teams and healthy rivalry that builds up every 2 weekends of the month starting March.Their dedication has seen some displace other sports enthusiasts from local hunts ( like Choices -Nairobi,on a Sunday morning or afternoon)
This ought to be a sports marketer's textbook example of how to brand and sell sport.

Going gets tough

This is what happens when you thought nothing was happening then all over sudden, you're swarmed with work. For the last 3 weeks or so, I try updating the blog but I never seem to get through.Plus with the prohibitive Internet rates, it's still not so affordable having access in the house- poor me !
But then again, this is where you bloggers come in....please help !
How can I deliver the goods with such tight deadlines to meet ? I'm waiting.........................

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Kenya Basketball opens new leaf

After postponing the elections for the Kenya Basketball Federation for the umpteenth time, they finally held these amid controversy from some of the interested parties.This was due to non-submission of accounts for the year 2006-2007 for the federation by outgoing officials.
Seasoned coach and school administrator Paul Otula was elected Chairman. That would be a crowning moment for the gentleman who has managed top high schools into champions in Mangu and Maseno High.
He was also a former player (forward) with now defunct StanChart team of Kenya's Premier League. He brings in some new ways of managing the sport, but his is a herculean task given that basketball has been thrown into the fringes of sports and not enjoyed the prominence of major disciplines such as rugby, athletics and football(even with all the 'bad publicity')
I would bet he will try get the job done, but for him to attract that ever elusive 'moneybag' , he will need some fresh ideas to bring back the sport to where to ought to be !
We're watching ............

Preview of SOYA Awards for Year 2007

Drums roll......and the winner is......
No let's start first with my trouble trying to secure an invitation. It was rough road coming but let's just say I found my way there. I almost got into a hitch when an earlier engagement took my time but to get to the Awards, I had to !
The theme for this year had appropriately been picked as Embracing Peace given the upheaval the country faced in the aftermath of the disputed elections.
Coming in late, meant I missed most of the niceties and introductions ( need I say the 3-course meal set out for invited guests....these guys sold the freebies here). But I was in time to find Uncle Moody finishing up his speech which really touched the emotional side of most people. Michael Joseph -Safaricom CEO who followed him almost had his handkerchief rolled out, as I could have sworn he broke a tear.
But the night belonged to the champions ( as the famous song by Queen goes)!
Jason Dunford was the Men's Sports Personality of the Year while Janeth JepKosgei took the ladies award. No suprises as both athletes exceed their own expectations last year and are already gearing up for this year's championships. Jason couldn't make it and had his father and mum pick the award for him while Janeth looked stunning in an evening dress and her ever-charming smile. Each collected a cheque of Kshs. 125,000
Other Winners:
Team of the Year (male) : Kenya Rugby Sevens squad (cheque of Kshs. 125,000)
Team of the Year (female): Junior Team ( Cross-Country) "
Most Promising Athlete (male): Asbel Kiprop- Athletics( cheque of Kshs. 50,000)
Most Promising Athlete (female): Ruth Bosibori- Athletics "
Sports Federation of the Year: Kenya Motor Sports Foundation ( cheque of Kshs. 100,000)
Community Hero/Heroine: Tecla Loroupe (cheque of Kshs.75000)
Special Category (male): Ibrahim Tabei- Athletics (cheque of Kshs.50000)
Special Category (female): Betty Cheruiyot-Athletics( similar cheque)
Hall of Fame : Paul Wekesa ( did I have foresight on this or what? Check SportsKenya's other feature on the right-hand side)
Interesting Tid-bits:
Among the invited guests was former Nigerian footballer- Daniel Amokachi and SuperSport's personnel ( who also covered the event).There were also a host of local leading sports personalities but I guess with the postponement of the event twice, the international guests were a bare minimum.
David Okeyo- Athletics Kenya Secterary General did his good runs up and down the podium as he collected trophies on behalf of his athletes who were said to be training for upcoming events. I counted and the guy never sat for more than 5 minutes after the presentations begun.
Patricia Mbatia of Multi-Choice Africa ( Supersport) was also in the house but more at the background never venturing near the distinguished guests table. She looked great ( wonder whether it's the Complete Make-over Competition won on 98.4 Capital FM's station which I thought was skewed)
Bernard Otieno who had hosted the event well goofed by asking Michael J to name the 2nd runner up instead of the winner for the male category & capped it by saying the event was for the year 2006. Guess it was the wine acting up after his spending time at the hidden corner.
Jason Dunford's dad summed it up well while picking his son's award by saying;
let's (Kenyans) recognise and appreciate our diversity because it is our strength and let's not call the colour of our skin or region
Words of a true champ !

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

March 2008 -Main Highlights

The year started a bit too fast for some of us and the lack of blogs articles and comments can clearly attest to this.
All the same, we seem to be catching on well and hope that this year will be one memorable year in some of the sports events lined up. Let's take a quick tour on the month of March;
UEFA Champions League :Knock-out Rounds and Quarter-Finals
English FA: Quarter-finals for the FA Cup as the Premiership League continues
Other European Leagues: Spanish La Liga, German's Bundesliga, French Ligue 1 to name but a few reach some crucial stages as this being as European Nations Cup year, most of these will end earlier than usual.
Dubai Open takes place with some good prize money is enticing. Trust the Arab emirs to pull a fast one as they attract more and more crowds to the desert dunes transformed to paradise on Earth.
The World Indoor Championships start in Valencia,Spain from 7th - 9th.
The 30th IAAF World Cross Country Championships take place in Edinburgh on the 30th
Argentine Rally on the 27th
Formula 1:
The supremacy battles start all over again between the two main teams on the 16th March 2008 in Australia, Melbourne and a fortnight later on 23 March at Malaysia, Sepang's track to be held under floodlights -a first for Formula One. Ferrari will hope to retain its title while McLaren will try get Hamilton to get his first championship
The rounds move to Qatar on 9th and onto Spain on the 30th
From tomorrow, 6th - 9th the European Challenge Tour: Tusker Kenya Open, Karen Golf Club, Nairobi, Kenya. This has been a good round for golfers hoping to move to the more lucrative PGA Tour. It has hosted such greats as Seve Ballestros-Spanish great.
Bamburi Rugby Super Series is on after Bamburi pledged to continue supporting it at a tune of Kshs.9 million.
6-Nations rounds continue with Ireland v Wales ,Scotland v England and France v Italyfacing off this weekend and the ties change to England v Ireland, Italy v Scotland, and Wales v France on the 15th

SOYA Awards 2007

As we regain our normalcy in the sporting world, it won't have a better platform to have this year's Sports Personality of the Year Awards staged in Nairobi in a week's time ( March 12th).
This year has so far seen all major disciplines affected and more so athletics since a large percentage of our athletes come from the Rift Valley province. As I write Athletics Kenya had thought of relocating of the training camp for the forthcoming World Cross-Country Championships due to be held in Edinburgh on March 29th. This is telling of how dire the situation had become but much hope is restored as security improves in most parts of the country.
Back to the SOYA Awards, this year's has seen some interesting partnerships emerge with SuperSport ( Multi-Choice-Kenya) making a big impact and hoping to continue supporting sports in Kenya. This is crucial to the firm which has seen much of turf attacked by GTV and thus repositioning and more presence clearly ought to be of good than harm.
Last year's awards were held at the KICC where the then VP handed out most of the prizes and promised the Government's support in sports and its development. I think this needs to echoed even louder this year given the strife and tensions that arose in the last 2 months. We're desperately in need of positive vibes and common bonds which sports gladly offers.
Way to go FineTouch Communications for organising such a worthwhile event ! See you there at the KICC Plenary Hall.
Here are some of the Nominees for the Awards;
SOYA - Nominees - 2007
Cheptil Girls High School Volleyball
World Junior Cross Country Athletics
Telkom Kenya Hockey
Prisons Volleyball Team Volleyball
KPA Basketball


Sevens Rugby Rugby
National Volleyball Volleyball
A.M.U. Team Motorsport
Kcb Rugby Rugby
G.S.U Volleyball

Luke Kibet Athletics
Samuel Wanjiru Athletics
Jason Dunford Swimming
Martin Lel Athletics
Dixon Wamwiri Tae Kwondo

Catherine Ndereba Athletics
Milka Akinyi Tae Kwondo
Vivian Cheruiyot Athletics
Janeth Jepkosgei Athletics
Dorcas Ndasaba Volleyball

Gilbert Kibet Tennis
Asbel Kiprop Athletics
Alex Obanda Cricket
Mathew Kisorio Athletics
Frank Wanangwe Hockey

Ruth Bosibori Athletics
Mercy Kosgei Athletics
Lynette Masai Athletics
Nerica Kuguru Hockey
Mercy Moim Volleyball

Paul Wekesa Tennis
Robert Wangila Boxing
Steve Mucheru (Deceased) Golf
Wilson Kiprugut Chumo Athletics


Betty Cheruiyot Athletics
Kanini Nduu Special Olympics
Zipporah Kiptogum Special Olympics
Mary Nakumicha Paraplegic

Isaac Njoroge Special Olympics
Abraham Tarbei Visually Impaired
Henry Kiprono Kirwa Visually Impaired
Mbatha Kimanthi Special Olympics
Gabriel Ouma Ojaje Wheelchair

Kenya Rugby Footbal Union Rugby
Kenya Motorsports Foundation Motorsports
Kenya Swimming Federation Swimming
Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association Multi-Discipline
Kenya Lawn Tennis Association Tennis

Tegla Loroupe Athletics
George Mureu Tae Kwondo
Godfrey Okotti Football
Chris Makokha Football
Musa Otieno Football