Thursday, 10 December 2009

SOYA Awards - SportsKenya Take !

With less than 24hr to go for this year's Sports personality Of the Year Award (SOYA) about to take place at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), we have come up with our list of winners ( nothing scientific there...), let's see how this compares with tomorrow's winners, at least in the top categories.
Starting with
Benjamin Ayimba - Kenya Rugby 7s coach - without a doubt, this man has managed to put Kenya firmly among the top 6 in the IRB Sevens Circuit and even came within touching distance of the Rugby World Cup 7s in Dubai.Formerly a 7s player, he has led from the front and taken the brunt when the team doesn't perform as witnessed in 2008 when the 2008/9 IRB Circuit started with dismal performances. Sofapaka's Robert Matano would come a close second, playing the Premier League in the first season and winning it, special!

It might be controversial but I go with the Kenya Rugby Football Union. Reasons being, they managed to stage the Junior World Rugby tournament, supported the Olympic bid for having the 7s game included as a Olympics in 2016 in Brazil (which sailed through), securing new (and loaded)sponsorship for the Safari Sevens tournament and 7s team too. The 15-a-side maybe their Achilles heel, but for the 7s, give it to them, they have put a fair show.

World champion , Linet Masai takes the cake here. She managed to upstage the Ethiopians and ran such a tactical race that we had not given her a chance to win it. ensured that the Kenyan women maintained the tempo and brought the country at least 2 more gold medals just like their male counterparts.

Rugby comes through for the 3rd time and this time it's the star of the year Collins Injera. Finishing as top scorer in the IRB Sevens circuit in the 2008/9 season and losing out narrowly in the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award shows the pedigree this gent has.He was hinted to have gotten prospects of playing professional games in France and South Africa but I guess he's decided to hack it out in the local scene. He has managed to secure endorsement from top mobile firm Nokia and boy do the ladies love this guy, check his Facebook fan-page.

It's a tricky one, but I'd put money on the Kenya Commercial Bank women's club at the front. This is after the team lost out to eventual winners Al Ahly of Egypt but upset the form book to displace Kenya Pipeline and Prisons clubs at the pecking order of volleyball in Kenya.

This squarely lays with Sofapaka football team. The 7s team may claim a right as well as the athletics team but Sofapaka beats them all since they ultimately won the Kenya Premier League - football - in their first outing. Given the chaotic football scene, coming up with a team and managing to give established teams with sizeable fan-bases; Sofapaka kept their cool. They play in next year's African Champions League with money in the bank.

Those are but our thoughts. Nominations were handed in and let's see who takes what home, the winners of the Sportsman & Sportswoman of the Year take a prize money tag of KSh. 150,000. Who's in and who's not? See you tomorrow at KICC!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

KPL Football Awards - Why the Rush ?

I'm wondering why these Kenya Premier League guys had to hold their awards ceremony rather hurriedly. With SOYA Awards coming up on Friday and CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup about to end, I thought they'd work with the CECAFA Secretariat and have joint ceremonies.
Our Kenyan managers badly need some professionalism inculcated and maybe just maybe, we might count a few more lucky turns in the next few years. Again, just my thoughts !

Thursday, 3 December 2009

East African Classic Safari

The dust's finally settled down at the Coast and in the North Eastern part of Tanzania. While the locals may claim victory, a lot needs to done for the rally to really connect with Kenyans the way the main one did.
First, there has to be a substantial number of prominent drivers (former winners can get leeway here). Local drivers could be an added attraction and indigenous ones at that. The Patrick Njirus and Jonathan Toroitichs of this part of the world did a great deal of a PR job for the rally, they can come back and return the favour to the Classic version.
I am also wondering if the organisers could consider covering more than two East African country, and venture into Uganda as well. This is the whole essence of the East Africa and I'm sure our colonial masters did enjoy their rendezvous back in the day. We could offer the same to our present day rally enthusiasts and make it a one-of-its kind.
Considering Africa's loss of two major races from The Safari Rally and Paris-Dakar Rally, we need to work within ourselves and make it happen. We can't wait for the WRC technocrats.