BUNGOMA, Kenya, Dec 18- Kenya Pipeline’s middle blocker Trizah Atuka was crowned the 2016 Magharibi Michezo Awards Overall Sports Personality of the year during a colorful Gala night held at the Bungoma Sports Club on Saturday night.
Atuka who has had a great season for both club and country waded off stiff competition from Kenyan Premier League Top scorer John Mark Makwatta who was however named footballer of the year.
Atuka, also named the 2016 Kenya Volleyball Federation player of the year played in all but two legs of the local competitions helping Pipeline to retain the league for the third year running against tough opposition from star studded rivals Kenya Prisons.
The Mukumu Girls High School alumnus has been a permanent figure in the national team in the recent past including taking part in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers and the World Grand Prix.
Makwatta, born and bred in the Western Kenya town of Bungoma was Atuka’s closest opponent in the race for the MVP award having enjoyed a stellar season that saw him bang 26 goals for Ulinzi Stars in all competitions this year.
The KPL golden boot winner was also the top scorer in the GOtv Shield after scoring six goals and also helped Ulinzi to the East Africa Military Games title in Kigali, Rwanda earlier in the year.
Harambee Starlets golden girl Mary Kinuthia who also schooled in Western Kenya was named women’s best footballer, toppling her team mates Neddy Atieno and Christine Nafula.
Kinuthia played an influential role in the Starlets’ campaign to the African Women’s Cup of Nations and has also been the pinnacle for her club in the Women’s Premier League, Thika Queens.
Nzoia United’s Bernard Mwalala was named coach of the year after helping Nzoia United to gain promotion to the Kenyan Premier League with a fantastic run and losing only twice the entire season.
Elsewhere, Kabras Sugar’s Brian Tanga was named the best rugby player after a sensational season with his club that ended up in him earning the first ever call up to the national team. Tanga was the top points scorer during the National Sevens Series.
The Magharibi Michezo Awards which is in its fourth edition is geared towards rewarding the achievements of sportsmen from the Western Kenya region’s as well as encourage the next crop of sporting talent.
Those who qualify for nomination should either be actively playing in the region or have horned their skills there.
Full list of winners:
Overall player of the Year- Trizah Atuka
Volleyball player of the year Men – Jairus Bett
Most Promising Player of the year Women – Yvonne Snaida
Volleyball Player of the year Men – Eliphas Makuto
Footballer of the year Men – John Mark Makwata
Footballer of the year Women – Mary Kinuthia
Rugby Player of the year – Brian Tanga
Most promising Rugby Player of the year – Steve Sikuta
Coach of the Year – Bernard Mwalala – Nzoia United
Hockey player of the year Men – Consant Wakahura
Hockey player of the year Women – Flavian Amutiva
Basketball Player of the Year Women – Selina Okumu
Volleyball player of the year women –Agrippina Kundu