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 drinks...no 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
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)
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 regionWords of a true champ !