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Five in Soya Community Heroes shortlist

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 21- Former national women’s volleyball coach, Paul Bitok and pioneering skier Philip Boit are among five shortlisted for the Community Hero accolade at this year’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

Alfred Analo, Anthony Juma Ongwayo and Collins Agwanda complete the line-up for this prestigious, if sentimental, award whose winner will be keenly awaited during the December 6 Gala night in Nairobi.

The decoration is bestowed upon individuals who have displayed exceptional service to a group of persons with a common interest, a person whose service impacts positively to a group of people.

“This is a person who goes out of his or her way to render services or disseminates knowledge to people without necessarily expecting to benefit or offering a selfless service to an organisation, a society, an association without getting or expecting to profit from the service,” organisers underlined on Wednesday when releasing the shortlist.

Bitok has been cited for running the Paul Bitok Foundation, which is based in Simat Primary School in Uasin Gishu.

The former national volleyball coach, now coaching in Rwanda, started the Foundation, which body has helped nurture talent and exposed many volleyball players and athletes to international level.

Among the players he identified and groomed are Philip Maiyo, now in Bulgaria, Philiste Mutembete, Rael Rotich, Suzan Atemba and Philster Jebet, all in USA, Mercy Moim and Lydia Tarus of Prisons and GSU’s Elphonse Biwot and Solomon Bitok.

He has also unearthed London 2012 Olympics 10,000m runner Moses Masai and Jebich Yator, who have since risen to prominence.

Boit made history when he competed for the nation at the Salt Lake Winter Olympics and through his efforts, a number of his compatriots have embraced the sport despite the fact it does not snow in Kenya.

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He has also invested a lot of resources in education, helping many youngsters acquire sponsorships to study abroad.

Ogwayo founded Vision For Youth Talent Development Association in Nairobi’s Dandora 41 Phase Four Estate after coaching the Mathare Youth Sports Association Under-12 team that took part in the Norway Cup Championships in 2005.

His charity established in 2004 and has transformed lives of the youths in Dandora, an area where youths are predominantly involved in antisocial behaviour through football.

Agwanda hatched the Amani Na Upendo Development Group in Kisumu, a sports and education organisation which runs Victoria Tennis Academy.

His organisation is registered with the Ministry of Gender, Culture and Social services as a Community Based Charity.

Through the years, he recruited over 50 disadvantaged children from different public schools across Manyatta slums into tennis.

Last year, Ricky Omondi and Linda Janet represented the Victoria Tennis Academy and got Africa ranking being the first players from the Academy and Western Kenya region to be ranked by Confederation of African Tennis.

Analo is the founder and coach of Boxgals Kenya, a community-based organisation using boxing to empower women and girls’ social welfare in schools and the wider community in Kenya.

He started the organisation in 2007 due to rape cases in Eastlands, especially in the slums.

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They train at the Nairobi’s Kariobangi Social Hall and among prominent women boxers who have benefitted from Boxgals are Elizabeth Adhiambo Andingo and Sarah Achieng’.

Adhiambo represented Kenya at the London Olympics after getting a wild card from the AIBA qualifiers in China.

Achieng’, a professional boxer, is the reigning East African featherweight champion.

Nyamu is the Director Athletes in Action Kenya and his focus is to create a positive environment for our community and our future generations through sport.

He has undertaken several initiatives, which include provision of humanitarian Aid, sporting equipment, proper athletic wear as well as building basketball court for church and community in Nairobi.

Has has also facilitated clinics for golfers’ at Ruiru Golf Club, Muthaiga Golf Club, Karen Golf Club, Limuru Golf Club, Windsor Golf Club and Golf Park Club with former PGA tour players.

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