Top performing coaches and players in this season’s National Super League (NSL) will be recognised for their effort, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) said yesterday.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa said they are in talks with the league’s sponsors, Betika, over the gala to be held at the end of the season.
It will be the first time ever that players and coaches in the second tier league are feted for their outstanding performance.
“There will be an NSL gala at the end of the season. It is part of the contract we have with Betika. It might not be as much detailed but it will take place,” Mwendwa said.
SJAK Awards, staged by sports journalists, honours players in the top flight league, the Kenyan Premier League.
NSL Governing Council Chairman Johson Sakwa said honouring players will make the second tier league more competitive.
“It is a good move. Players will feel motivated and they will give their best to win the awards. This will see the league become more vibrant,” said Sakwa.
The announcement was made at Camp Toyoyo grounds where Betika provided two sets of uniform and two balls to each of the 19 teams participating in the league.
Further, the gaming company also gave each of the teams Sh100,000 to help carter for their expenses. This is in addition to last year’s boost the teams received when FKF and Betika announced a three-year league’s sponsorship deal.
The deal is worth Sh90millions.
Betika head of business John Mbatia said the kits and ball donation is part of their plan to promote community football development.
“When we took over sponsorship of NSL last year we said we wanted to grow community football. Providing the teams with the uniforms and balls was part of our sponsorship, which we believe will help the teams perform better,” said Mbatia.
Speaking during the kit presentation at Camp Toyoyo, the firm’s Business Head, John Mbatiah said: “In a surprise move, today we are happy to boost the Betika National Super League with an extra Sh2 million shillings in addition to the Sh90million that we initially committed to. We are also happy that we have set the pace for our peers to rise up to the challenge and support the community by giving back to worthy causes”.
Mbatiah also noted that the level of commitment in the training has improved as more teams can now afford to hire training grounds and get coaches that are motivated to grow the sport.