Athletics Athletics

SOYA public voting to close Thursday night

SOYA Awards Founder and Patron Paul Tergat.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Public voting for the 2016 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) will close on Thursday night ahead of the black tie gala event scheduled for January 19 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center.

Event founder and patron Paul Tergat confirmed all preparations have been finalized for the 13th edition that will be graced by Ethiopia Athletics Federation boss, legend Haile Gebrselassie.

Members of the public can vote for their favourite athletes through *279# with the overall Sports Personality of the Year winner walking home Sh1mn richer.

Organisers received Sh5mn sponsorship boost on Thursday with Lotto Foundation injecting Sh3mn while Communication Authority of Kenya and National Hospital Insurance Fund brought on board 1 million shillings each.

Tergat assured sponsors all the funds they have received will go towards feting the best sportsmen and women who performed exemplarily last year.

“The support that you are giving us we are going to make sure that it will go all the way to support the awards that we are going to have. We cannot give more but it’s a token to show the athletes we appreciate them. This is a premier event and they target has always been to bring all the Sportsmen across all disciplines together,” Tergat said.

Lotto Foundation Chairman, Brian Walucho said he was glad that his organization is participating in SOYA Awards as a way of celebrating year-long efforts of Kenya’s brilliant sportsmen and women.

Communication Authority of Kenya Director, Top Olwero noted that the institution has sponsored the SOYA gala over the years because it identifies with the objectives behind the event which includes identifying and nurturing sports talent across all disciplines.

“Over the years, we have seen young boys and girls recognized under the Most Promising category go on to win medals at major international events. This does not only show that Kenya has abundant talent but it is possible to identify such talent at an early age and cheer them on to success,” Olwero declared.