Hope for tacticians as SJAK introduces the Coach of the Month Award

Startimes Kenya MD Andy Wang (L) presents a cheque to SJAK president (R) Chris Mbaisi as the national volleyball women's team Malkia Strikers coach Paul Bitok looks on during the launch SJAK coach of the month award.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

The Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK)) on Wednesday partnered with pay-television broadcaster StarTimes Media Kenya to promote competitive sportsmanship through the establishment of the Coach of the Month Award.

Currently, the Player of the Month award is available with LG as the main sponsor.

The partnership is a one-year renewable deal that begins in November 2022, seeing StarTimes as the official sponsor.
In the deal, the winning Coach of the month will be walking away with Sh100,000, a StarTimes 55-inch smart television set, and a personalized trophy.

“We are re-establishing our partnership with SJAK to reward excellence in sports has had a similar initiative between 2017 and 2018. StarTimes investment over the period is now over 10 million shillings in monetary and product support,” said StarTimes Media Kenya CEO Hanson Wang.

The noble objective of the monthly award will be to whip up the enthusiasm of the coaches across the country. The growth of different sports disciplines in Kenya through monthly recognition of individual outstanding performances will therefore go a long way toward adding value to Kenyan sports.

Speaking at the same event, national women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok described the initiative as a long time coming, predicting that it will motivate Kenyan coaches to work hard for the good of the game.

“I appreciate all those who came up with the idea to fete coaches for the hard work they do in developing players. We have seen previous times when teams come back to the country after a successful outing but it is only the players that are awarded and recognized while the coaches are forgotten,” Bitok said.

The longstanding coach, who has also tutored in Rwanda, said the newly-crafted award scheme sends the message that coaches’ work in identifying and nurturing Kenyan talent does not go unnoticed.

“Being given this award, it will motivate us to keep going. Imagine…if I have managed to win all these titles with Malkia Strikers through the years with such an incentive, what would happen when we have such awards to recognize top coaches. As coaches, we promise not to fail you and to amplify the efforts of StarTimes and SJAK within the sports industry,” Bitok concluded. 

SJAK president Chris Mbaisi thanked StarTimes for their generous support towards the development of Kenyan sports, welcoming the company back to SJAK the brand having previously partnered with SJAK in the introduction of the now vibrant Sports Personality of the Month Award (SPOM).

"This new StarTimes partnership with SJAK brings good tidings to the sporting fraternity given that the monthly winner of the award will pocket Ksh. 100,000 as the prize money with a StarTimes 55-inch digital television to boot. Upon expiry of the deal, StarTimes shall have the right of the first option to renew the Agreement on such terms as may be agreed between the parties," Mbaisi noted.

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