H. Stars midfielder among nominees for top sports award category

Monday, December 16th, 2019 00:00 |
Harambee Stars midfielder Johanna Omolo shields the ball from Togo defender Koffi Franco Atchou during their 2019 Afcon qualifier in Nairobi last month. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Harambee Stars midfielder Johanna Omollo is among contestants who will be fighting to be named the Community Hero during this year’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) gala to be held in Mombasa on January 24.

Belgium-based Omollo has been nominated because of the work he does with the Johanna Omollo Foundation in Dandora where he begun his football career.

The foundation, which started in 2017, supports youths  through education scholarships, mentorship and entrepreneurship programmes.

It also provides sanitary pads to teenage girls among other initiatives meant to uplift the livelihoods of youngsters in the informal sector.

Over 80 children have received school fees and other supplies while 200 girls benefit by getting sanitary pads every month.

The Harambee Stars player is also a member of Common Goal, a charitable organisation that draws willing professional footballers and coaches to donate one per cent of their wages to non-governmental organisations working in football.

This year, Omollo was named the winner of the FIFPRO Merit Award for his outstanding community work in Dandora.

Omollo will, however, face stiff competition from Elgeyo-Marakwet-based coach Eric Kimaiyo, former national cricket team player Peter Ongondo and another coach Bernard Makumi, who works mainly as a volunteer in helping mentally challenged athletes.

Kimaiyo, who is also the coach of world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, was nominated due to his work at Kapsait camp.

He is credited with giving life to the former Fila athletics camp by pumping in money to help restart the camp and naming it Kapsait Training Camp.

The coach also runs a school, Kapsait Athletics Secondary School, which he mainly uses to tap talent.

World Under-20 champion Edward Zakayo is one of the athletes studying at the sinstitution, among others. 

Ongondo meanwhile, works with two volunteers to help with translation and solely caters for their allowances and sources for kits from the President of Malta Cricket Paul Bradley whom he approached when he took up the initiative.

Makumi who has used the power of sports to ensure athletes with intellectual disabilities access primary and secondary education. 

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