NAIROBI, Kenya, December 22 – Former world marathon record holder and International Olympic Committee Member Paul Tergat, has called for calm in the wrangling federations, saying the squabbles have tainted Kenya’s image.
The five-time world cross country champion who was speaking on Monday when receiving sponsorship boosts for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) challenged Athletics Kenya and Football Kenya Federations bosses to put their houses in order.
“It’s sad that there are a lot of wrangles across the board as a sportsman, I want to see soberness in terms of sports management in the country so that we can redeem our reputation that we have built for many years,” the SOYA founder and patron underscored.
Tergat further urged sports enthusiasts and members of the public to continue voting for their favourite sports personality and teams using the SMS platform by dialing *279# that is free of charge during the two week voting process that will close a week before the event that will be held at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conference Center January 16.
“The SOYA awards provide an excellent platform that raises the awareness of the value of sports and recognize those who deliver sport at an individual level, Schools teams, coaches and community heroes,” Tergat added.
World indoor 3000m men’s champion Caleb Ndiku who also won the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, African Championships and Continental Cup (5000m) this season, will battle for the male Sports of the Year award alongside 2014 fasted steeplechaser in the world Jairus Birech who also crowned IAAF Diamond League winner, African Champion and won silver at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Boxer, welterweight Rayton Okwiri who needs one win in the ongoing Aiba-Pro Boxing series to qualify for 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Games in Brazil, rounds up the male nominees.
The female category will see women’s world 800m champion Eunice Sum who won the Commonwealth Games, African Championships and silver at the world relays, compete for the award with 5000m Commonwealth champion Mercy Cherono who was voted the most promising woman athlete at 2010’s SOYA event.
USIU basketball player Hilder Indasi completes the list that will be seeking the crown held by two time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat.
After finishing runner-ups in 2010, 12 and 13, 14-times Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia will be seeking to win the men’s sports team of the year alongside GOtv Shield winners Sofapaka, National 15’s rugby team, KCB Rugby Club and Kanbis Cricket Club.
In 2009, George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo was voted the Most Promising Player after an outstanding season performance while in 2010, the then head Coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno was crowned Coach of the Year.
The national women’s volleyball team, Kenya women’s Hockey team and African Hockey queens Telkom Orange who collected their seventh continental crown will face of in the corresponding female sports team of the year.
Only the four categories are open to the public for voting while the panel of selectors will pick the most promising athletes, most promising coach, Federation of the year, Community hero, Sportsman/woman with disability, school team of the year, Hall of Fame, come back award and outstanding performance.