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.
COACH OF THE YEAR:
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!
OUTSTANDING SPORTS ASSOCIATION/FEDERATION:
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.
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR:
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.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR:
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.
SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR (WOMEN):
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.
SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR (MEN):
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!