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Kakamega County ready to host 2021 SOYA Gala, says Oparanya

FOOTBALL By Robert Amalemba | October 7th 2021
Kakamega Gov. Wycliffe Oparanya (Centre) and NOC-K President Paul Tergat (L) in Kakamega yesterday. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

The County government of Kakamega has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the organisers of the Sports Personality of the Awards (SOYA) to host next year’s ceremony.

Speaking during a courtesy call to Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, the awards founder Paul Tergat said the bulk of sports talent in the country is in grassroots and not in the cities where the ceremonies have been held for ages.

“We held about 14 ceremonies out of the 18 we have had in Nairobi. But in the spirit of encouraging and building sports talent in every corner of the nation we decided to start hosting the event outside Nairobi,” said Tergat.

He went on: “We have so far had events in Mombasa, Nakuru and the coming one which will be in January 2022 will be at Kakamega a home of diverse sports talent. The county is not only good in rugby and football but I remember you had a star in hockey named Elynah Shiveka.”

Tergat, a World accomplished long-distance runner of all time, regretted that the prevailing coronavirus pandemic had interfered with the sports calendar but urged sportsmen to stay resilient and take the coronavirus vaccine jab.

In this year’s February SOYA, Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga and World Half Marathon Record holder Peres Jepchirchir were named the most outstanding men and women Sports Personalities respectively.

Governor Oparanya, who was flanked by former Harambee Stars striker Allan Wanga-now in the county sports department, warmly welcomed the ceremony in Kakamega saying it would boost sportsmanship at the grassroots.


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