The Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) has penned a deal with leading electronics manufacturer LG Electronics to sponsor this year’s Sports Personality of the Month Award to a tune of Sh6.6million.
The event, organized by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) will run for one-year, starting January through to December 2021.
According to SJAK press statement, the award will fete the most outstanding Kenyan sportsmen and women for their achievements across diverse disciplines each month.
The Winners for January and February were also announced on Tuesday during the launch- with tennis star Angela Okutoyi taking the January gong and Kenya Morans’ Tylor Okari Ongwae were feted as the February winner.
Speaking at the launch, LG managing director, Sa Nyoung Kim, hailed the partnership with SJAK, saying it will contribute towards the development of sport in Kenya by recognizing local talent.
“Recognising and rewarding performance is an important step in identifying and nurturing local sporting talent. Kenya is known globally for her sporting talent especially in athletics, and we are seeing promising talent in other disciplines, hence our decision to collaborate with SJAK to advance development of sports talent in Kenya,” said Kim.
On his part, SJAK president Chris Mbaisi said the award will go a long way in motivating Kenyan sportsmen and women who have endured many challenges in the past one year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the products the winners will receive as awards include LG NanoCell TV with in-built AI that delivers high-quality picture and sound and a superior viewing experience, as well as the LG AI DD washing machine featuring some of the most advanced features using steam technology.
Okutoyi earned the award after winning two back-to-back ITF Junior J4 singles events in Nairobi. She won 6-3 6-2 against Celine Simunyu of Ireland and beat Hungary’s Luca Udvardy 6-1, 6-4 to move to a career high ranking of 127 globally.
She also won one doubles title and took second place in another partnering with Iran’s Meshkatolzahra Safi. Okutoyi beat autocross star driver Lovejyot Singh to the coveted title.
Other nominees for the January award were, Yvonne Wavinya, Jairus Chepkosgei, Hellen Obiri, Ferdinand Omanyala, Chrispin Odhiambo, Kirit Rajput, Pamela Adhiambo, Veronica Adhiambo and Jeremiah Mutai.
Okari, on the other hand, was instrumental in Morans’ win over 11-time Afro-basket Championship title holders Angola, a win that handed the team a ticket to the biennial Afro-basket showpiece after a 28-year hiatus.
Okari was also named in the FIBA-Africa Top 10 list of players after leading Morans with team-highs of 14.8 points and 4.2 assists. He was also the team’s second leading rebounder with 7.2 boards in five games. He, was determinant in Kenya’s most important win as his buzzer-beater mid-range jumper stunned Angola 74-73 to ensure Kenya a place at Afro-Basket 2021.
Okari beat reigning Safari Rally and Kenya champion Baldev Chager to the February award. Other February nominees were Felix Kipruto, Eric Sang, Beatrice Chepkoech, Kevin Odhiambo, Gideon Rono, Zablon Okwam and Pamela Odhiambo.