Nairobi — Ahead of the 2017 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA), organisers have received a huge boost of Sh2.5mn from sponsors to go towards preparations for the black tie gala scheduled for January 17, 2018.
National Social Insurance Fund (NSSF) injected Sh1.5mn while Communication Authority of Kenya who has been supporting the event for the last seven years gave Sh1mn.
This year's theme is 'Passing the baton' derived from the changes that took place this season in sports from the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), who have a new office led by SOYA founder Paul Tergat to the transition of young athletes at the World U18 Championships.
Speaking during the event on Tuesday, NSSF Public Relations and Communications Manager, Christopher Khisa said that instilling and passing ob good virtues that impact positively on social security, which is the event's core value.
"At NSSF, we work towards 'growing for your good', as an individual, by planning for your future through social investment. We are glad to partner with the organizers of this event who are not only organizing a recognition fete but are working towards reaching out to our sports personalities and encouraging them to plan for their future," he said.
"We are glad to be associated with sports icon such as Paul Tergat and other elite athletes who have established avenues to nature, grow, and pass on the culture of saving for their old days to the upcoming athletes."
On his part, Communication Authority of Kenya Acting Director for Consumer and Public Affairs, Christopher Wambua noted that the gala had grown in leaps and bounds provided a great avenue to celebrate the wins our sports personalities continually bring to Kenya.
"We as an organization we are always excited to be part of a fete that recognizes each year, the great strides our sportsmen and women make. As part of our CSR pillars, sports provide a great avenue we use to encourage our athletes from various fields to nature and grow their talent," he said.
The annual event is aimed at awarding and recognizing sportsmen and women who have succeeded this season, cutting across all sports disciplines.
Olympic champion in the women's 5000m Vivian Cheruiyot won the overall Sports personality of the Year 2016 while Olympic marathon champion, the great Eliud Kipchoge was named the Sportsman of the Year.
This year's nominees are already out with AFC Leopards striker Vincent Oburu headlining the Most Promising Boy of the Year as Mary Moraa who won a rare 400m silver at the World U18, anchoring the list for the Most Promising Girl.
Nominees that are also out include those for the Sports Person Living with Disabilities that is led by Paralympic gold medallist Samuel Muchai in the Male category while the women's side is led by javelin thrower Nelly Sile.