Safaricom injects Sh16m into 16th edition of annual sports gala

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 00:00 |
Safaricom Chief Special Projects Officer Joe Ogutu signs a dummy cheque in support of the 16th edition of Soya awards gala as event founder Paul Tergat (right) and panelist Bismarck Mutahi look on. Photo/PD/GIBO ZACHARY

Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) sponsors Safaricom alongside founder Paul Tergat yesterday launched the 2019 edition of the event set to be held in Mombasa County on January 24, 2020.

The awards, now in their 16th edition, were launched in 2004 with six categories to recognise outstanding athletes across sporting disciplines, and the unique role that sports continue to play in shaping the Kenyan identity.

They have since grown to include 18 categories, celebrating male and female athletes as well as coaches, community heroes and sports federations across all disciplines with Safaricom are set to inject Sh16 million in this year’s event.

“These awards are the highlight of the Kenyan sporting calendar and are growing each year to become a premier sports event.

We are honoured to be associated with one of the biggest brands in the country. Safaricom believed in my dream when I was still an active athlete and 16 years down the line, they continue to walk with us as we reward our sports personalities for their efforts throughout their season,” said Tergat who acknowledged the difficult job the panel has in choosing the best across all disciplines. 

Efforts recognised

He lauded the panel tasked with coming up with the winners for striving for inclusion and awarding even the humblest of sports personalities.

He further called for investment in upcoming athletes from all stakeholders to keep Kenya’s flag high in all the disciplines that the country thrives in.

“Despite all the challenges our athletes face, including infrastructure, they go over and beyond in flying the country’s flag high and thus deserve this recognition.

All the nominees should be proud of their achievements. Getting their efforts recognised from the pool of athletes we have in the country is a big achievement by itself,” added Tergat.

“As a brand, Safaricom is extremely proud of the growth we have seen since the inaugural Soya Awards. These awards rank second to Safaricom Lewa Marathon in terms of support from the company thanks to the good organisation and leadership we have witnessed over the years.

The categories awarded keep all sports lovers hooked as they reach far and wide and recognise all disciplines.

As a company, we are committed to supporting this initiative to greater heights,” said Chief Special Projects Officer Joseph Ogutu. 

Amongst the categories to be awarded include the overall sports personality of the year, sportsman and woman of the year, team of the year for both men and women as well as federation of the year.

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