SAFARICOM SUPPORTS PREMIER KENYAN SPORTS FETE-Seven-year Relationship Cemented with Sh7 million Cheque
This year’s edition of the Safaricom Sportsperson of the Year Awards (SOYA) awards was launched today, with the listed telecoms operator committing Sh7 million worth of support to the event.
The country’s premier sports fete, in its seventh year since inception by athletics legend and former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat, was launched at Safaricom House during a function presided over by Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph.
Speaking during the launch, Mr Tergat noted that the level of most sporting disciplines in Kenya had improved since the start of the Safaricom SOYA Awards, with some sportsmen and women, who were earlier recognized as promising talent, maturing into international champions of repute, bringing immense honour to the country.
“Safaricom SOYA Awards have in a major and positive way made tremendous contribution to the development of sports in Kenya. The benefits from success in sports for us as a country cannot be over-emphasised and any investment in sports, especially accompanied with proper management, guarantees enduring returns”, Mr Tergat said. He pointed out the role sports had played in building national cohesion, restoration of national pride and marketing Kenya internationally and generating positive publicity for the country.
Echoing Mr Tergat’s remarks during the launch, Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph said: “Kenya today prides itself in producing respected sports heroes and heroines who are celebrated the world over. Safaricom, being a Kenyan company, is sharing in this same spirit by supporting and celebrating Kenyan talent through this event, which is, clearly, the Oscars of the local sports scene and a major fixture on the Kenyan sporting calendar.”
Safaricom is supporting the Safaricom SOYA Awards for the seventh year running, further underpinning the firm’s expansive footprint in sports sponsorship in Kenya. Safaricom runs an expansive sports portfolio that includes Safaricom Marathon in Lewa; the Safaricom Sevens and Sakata Ball, The Safaricom Challenge, plus a slew of other sports activities, including road races, in all parts of Kenya.
“For Safaricom, sport is a key part of our connection and communication with the Kenyan market. The Safaricom SOYA Awards is our way of thanking and congratulating Kenya’s sporting fraternity for bringing honour to this great country and motivating the next generation of champions,” Mr Joseph added.
The SOYA founder paid tribute to Safaricom for its outstanding contribution to the development of sports in Kenya and singled out soya as one such success story of their investment. Mr Tergat, however, regretted that despite the critical role sport plays, this was yet to be fully embraced and appreciated.
He therefore challenged the authorities and other sports stakeholders to initiate the necessary initiatives to rectify this state of affairs. He singled out the long-overdue sports policy and asked that the same be tabled and passed in Parliament for the necessary legislation and implementation. He hoped that the new Sports Minister Paul Otuoma would seize the moment and goodwill to actualize this.
Regarding the 2010 Safaricom SOYA Awards, the founder promised another colourful gala ceremony befitting Kenya’s sports heroes and heroines. The date of the awards in December will be announced soon and the public is invited to fully participate in the nomination process.
This article was originally posted on East Africa Business Communities