NAIROBI, December 2- The long-list of some of the nominees for the 2015 Safaricom Soya Awards is out with the public invited to vote for the sportspersons they deem worthy of being feted at the January 15 black tie gala in Nairobi.
The awards judging panel has released nominees in six hotly contested categories; Most Promising Sports Personality of the Year Male and Female, Coach of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Community Hero Award and Sports Federation of the Year.
John Kaplich Barsito, the Awards director said the announcement of the long-list had set in motion the crucial final stages of putting together the 12th annual gala that has grown to be the ‘Oscars of Kenyan sport’.
“It speaks about the competitiveness of Soya. What is presented to the public is the best in sports in this country that cuts across all disciplines.
“I don’t envy the panel since they have to wrack their brains and go back to the criteria to see who deserves to be the overall Sports Personality of the Year,” the director said Wednesday.
Rising baseball hot shot, Kevin Githinji, IAAF World Junior Championships titleholders, Kumari Taki (1500m), Willy Tarbei (800m) and Vincent Kipyegon (2000m steeple); Javelin hopeful, David Parisitau, sprinter Moffart Ngari and Motor sport talent, Jeremy Wahome are in the running for the Most Promising Sports Personality of the Year Male award.
The corresponding female gong will be contested by six; IAAF World Cross senior women titleholder, Agnes Jebet Tirop, World Junior and Africa Junior stars, Sandra Felis Chebet and Cellephine Chepsol, Valerie Kones of badminton, swimmer Rebecca Wacui Kamau and Kenya Prisons Edith Wisa who is making waves on the volleyball scene having helped Kenya bag the All Africa Games title in Congo Brazzaville.
In a year that local governing bodies have taken a huge hit on corruption and mismanagement allegations, the ‘big three’ of Athletics Kenya, Football Kenya Federation and Kenya Rugby Union did not get a nod for the Sports Federation of the Year.
Also missing from the list are multiple winners the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association after a year where the national ball games in Machakos were locked by scandal in a bold statement from award organisers to uphold the ‘Complete Clean’ motto of 2015.
Kenya Motor Sport Federation, Kenya Volleyball Federation and Kenya Rowing and Canoeing will vie for the honours.
The Coach of the Year will be fiercely contested between KCB RFC boss, Curtis Olago, Julius Kirwa who led the world conquering Kenyan side to the summer Beijing IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Paul Gitau, the man in charge of the victorius women’s volleyball team to the All Africa Games and Esther Kavaya, the sprint coach.
National women’s volleyball team head coach, David Lung’aho and Jos OPenda who led Telkom Orange women’s hockey side to league and continental honours round the populated list.
Relegated Kenya Commercial Bank FC forward, Paul Mungai Kiongera and Nakuru RFC star Lawrence Buyachi received nominations in the Comeback of the Year.
Edna Rotich (volleyball), Albert Lagat (volleyball), Anwar Sidi (Motor Sport) and Hirani brothers of Rajesh and Ramesh (Motor Sport) are in the running for the Community Hero Award.
The public will be invited to vote through a Short Message Service platform to be rolled out by title sponsors Safaricom by next week.