Star Times and Sports Journalist Association of Kenya (SJAK) have entered into a partnership to reward deserving sports personalities on a monthly basis.
The StarTimes/SJAK Sports Personality of the Month Awards, which is another first from the Kenyan sports scribes, is set to begin this month with the awarding of the most outstanding individual in the month of July.
The Awards will, however, not feature footballers who are catered for through the “Footballer of the Month” which has been running over the last two years.
Speaking during the official launch of the event, SJAK president Chris Mbaisi said the award is designed to acknowledge outstanding sporting individuals on a monthly basis.
The new Awards will see recipients walk away with a 40 inch Star Times LED television set with a cash award of Sh100,000.
“We have since exhausted the football bit but felt it was prudent to also acknowledge other sporting disciplines by whipping up the enthusiasm of personalities who perform exemplary well,” Mbaisi said.
Star Times Vice President Mark Liboa said they are proud to be associated with Kenyan sports personalities who have over the past few decades done the country proud.
“It’s a great honour to be part and parcel of this team and equally humbling to know that we are here to initiate an exercise that will see the recognition, celebration and honour for the sports excellence in Kenya. Indeed the sports industry in leaps and bounds and as we gather here to roll out efforts to recognize those that have done exceptionally well. The corporate sector in Kenya continues to embrace well organized and managed societies and associations. StarTimes has not been left behind in our quest to make a difference in the communities that we serve, talent development is an area that cannot be emphasised enough as we seek to continue getting the best of every engagement. It’s for this reason that StarTimes has 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,” said Liboa.
SJAK has over the past two years partnered with Sportpesa and an electronic company in the Footballer of the Month Award which fetes outstanding footballers.
In partnership with Fidelity Insurance, the scribes body also awards football tacticians in the monthly Coach of the Month Awards.
The Sports Personality of the Month Awards Committee comprises of Eric Ochieng’ (Standard), Daniel Wahome (KBC), Francis Marangu (sportnewsarena.com), Wanjiku Mwenda (K24), Michelle Katami (SuperSport), William Njuguna (Radio Africa Group) and Brian Yonga (Nation)
On behalf of sporting federations, the Kenya Table Tennis Association chairman Andrew Mudibo welcomed the initiative as a progressive effort that will hopefully further motivate our sports men and women through appreciation and recognition.
“This is a revolution in sports by SJAK reviving similar awards sponsored by Orbit which were last held over two decades ago. There was a time when sports in Kenya was at its best, but things changed. We needed something that would reward deserving sports personalities and not just officials. For this we thank SJAK for taking up the initiative and we would also like to see other corporates support it,” he said.