MOMBASA, Kenya, Nov 21 – For the second year running Mombasa County will host the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) to be held January 24, 2020.
Mombasa hosted the successful 15th edition at the historic Fort Jesus where record breaking athlete Eliud Kipchoge was crowned the best sports personality of 2018.
Speaking during the launch at a Mombasa hotel on Thursday evening, Job Tumbo, the Mombasa County Chief of staff, who spoke on behalf of the Governor, Ali Hassan Joho, said the partnership with SOYA will see the coastal county benefit and become another sports tourism hub.
The Governor said that apart from the support from the county, his foundation the Hassan Joho Foundation will also contribute Sh500,000 for the success of the SOYA event.
“Sports industry is a multi billion global industry and as a country we must start professionalising this industry and harness the economic opportunities that come with it.
“Our young men and women need not all be doctors and surgeons.. We need to start mentoring them into sporting careers. There are well paying jobs and business ventures in sports including sports related services and enterprises.
From Manufacturing of sporting equipment, apparels to marketing and administration. The industry is ripe with untapped economic opportunities especially in Africa,” Joho said in the speech read by Tumbo.
“As we usher Soya here in Mombasa let’s continue to work together to unlock these opportunities that come with such events. The Government of Mombasa is open for business and we welcome you to partner with us.”
He also said that in the next few months Mombasa County will be launching the Mombasa International Stadium, a modern state of the art sports facility that will promote and showcase the huge pool of talent in the region.
“This facility will be one of it’s kind in the region and we shall welcome you to witness it, “Joho said in the speech read by Tumbo.
During the event on Thursday night at a Mombasa hotel, UBA Bank joined the list of Soya sponsors by presenting a cheque of Sh500,000.
“United Bank for Africa’s sponsorship of the 16th edition of SOYA is in line with our commitment to be a catalyst of social and economic growth in the markets where we operate.
“As a pan African bank, with presence in 20 African Countries, USA, UK and France we believe in the spirit of enabling and encouraging sportsmanship and applaud the great efforts our sportsmen and women continue to put in to excel.
“As Africa’s global bank, we are glad to support Kenyan sports, which is an important element of our Kenyan culture,” said Emeke E. Iweriebor, the CEO for UBA East and Southern Africa.
Communication Authority of Kenya who were also represented in the launch on Thursday also handed in a cheque of Sh500,000 in support of the 2019 event.
Soya founder member Paul Tergat was represented at the event by national sevens team player Willy Ambaka who praised Soya for doing a good job in supporting sports in the country.
Sponsors including Safaricom, County Government of Mombasa, Kenya Pipeline, Communication Authority of Kenya, New KCC, Lapfund, Kenya Power, UBA Bank, Nairobi Bottlers , Kenya Ports Authority, NHIF, NSSF, Kenya Tourism Board, GOtv were appreciated during the ceremony on Thursday.