NAIROBI, Kenya, November 12- Foreign coaches and players who starred during the just concluded 2012 Tusker Premier League (TPL) will not be considered for honours during the December 6 ninth Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Organisers declared this on Monday after the event received a Sh2.5m boost from SuperSport and MultiChoice with Sh1m going to organisation logistics and Sh1.5 being spent on production costs for the gala by the continental pay television firm.
“The domestic league concluded this weekend and it will be a basis of the awards this year. The idea of Soya is to reward success by Kenyan passport and identity card holders locally and abroad.
“We have received nominations for foreign coaches in the league who have done a wonderful job but they do not qualify for the awards,” the chairperson of the judging panel, Evelyn Watta said.
Croat Zradvko Logarusic and Dutchman Jan Coops led Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards to runner-up and third in the TPL won by defending champions Tusker FC on a dramatic close to the season on Saturday.
Ugandan Dan Sserunkuma who has plunged in 17 league goals for Gor is also another foreigner who has illuminated the league.
Watta added there was need to increase the categories up for awards from the current 16 to cater for other interest groups in the Kenyan sporting scene.
“We have received about seven nominations that we do not have the categories we can place them and we are working to ensure we incorporate more categories in future to cater for anyone.
“We are thankful that SuperSport and MultiChoice have joined us today since their sponsorship will cater for among others, the Comeback of the Year Category we have added this year that has received a good number of nominees,” she explained to allay concerns that having 16 categories up for award was diluting the Kenyan sporting equivalent of the Oscar Awards.
Speaking during the presentation in Nairobi of the Danny Muchira the General Manager MultiChoice Kenya stated SuperSport were keen on establishing a long-term commitment to Africa and specifically the Kenyan market in local content and local talent
“MultiChoice Kenya is the leading pay media destination any time anywhere in Kenya, with an unmatched track record of almost two decades in Pay TV locally.
“Over the years through our channels, we have continued to invest in local content production – we have always been and still are dedicated to serving the Kenyan people with the best sport, movies and entertainment,” Muchira outlined.
In his remarks, event patron and former World marathon record holder, Paul Tergat outlined that the sponsorship boost was timely for both parties.
“SOYA shares a lot in common with Super Sport and MultiChoice, whether you are talking of objectives or aspirations. We all want to see sports and our sports people rise to new heights in Kenya and Africa as a whole”.
“The entry of DSTv has seen tremendous rise in Kenya’s people, especially the youth, passion for sports at all levels- national and even global,” the event patron underscored.
“SOYA is now nine years-old and it is not difficult to identify how much contribution it has brought into our sporting scene- whether you are looking at motivation of sportsmen and women or adding glamour through glamorous awards gala, not to forget enhancing linkages between sports and corporate entities like SuperSport and MultiChoice Kenya,” Tergat added.