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SJAK, StarTimes partner for monthly sportsman award

Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) president Chris Mbaisi and StarTimes vice president Mark Lisboa peruce through the contract after signing. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31- The Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) and Pay TV company StarTimes on Monday unveiled a one-year partnership which will see them select and award the country’s best performing sportsman every month, beginning with July.

The winner of the award will walk home with Sh100,000 and a Digital StarTimes TV. Focus will be on all sports disciplines excluding football which already has another player of the month award sponsored by betting firm Sportpesa.

Speaking to Capital Sport after the deal was finalized, SJAK president Chris Mbaisi revealed the deal has been in the pipeline for a while and it will be a timely boost to the development of sports in the country especially for the less talked about disciplines.

“Awards speak a lot to an athlete and remember these awards cut across all sports from athletics to table tennis. We have been doing football for a while now and we felt it was also good to get something for other sports,” Mbaisi said.

He added: “Sport journalists have previously been involved in the annual SOYA awards so this will not be  something new to them.”

StarTimes vice president Mark Lisboa said basing on the success of the maiden contract which ends in July 2018, they will consider extending it as they look to invest more in sports development in the country.

He has also urged journalists to ensure fairness when picking out the winners.

“Talent development is an area that cannot be emphasized enough as we seek to continue getting the best of every engagement.”

(L-R) SOYA’s Simon Chebon, Sports Journalists Association of Kenya boss Chris Mbaisi, StarTimes Vice President Mark Lisboa and Kenya Table Tennis Association chairman Andrew Mudibo during the signing of the agreement. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“It’s for this reason that we have joined hands with SJAK to not only recognize the movers and shakers in sports but to also challenge the upcoming talent to fight for their rightful place in the industry that continues to experience intense competition,” Liboa commented.

SJAK has at the same time formed a seven-member committee that will select the best players every month.

The committee comprises of Eric Ochieng’ (Standard), Daniel Wahome (KBC), Francis Marangu (, Wanjiku Mwenda (K24), Michelle Katami (SuperSport), William Njuguna (Radio Africa Group) and Brian Yonga (Daily Nation).

This will be the third award scheme carried out by SJAK. They have partnered with SportPesa for the Footballer of the Month Award as well as Fidelity Bank for the Coach of the month award.