What you need to know:
- Top athletes grace annual celebration event
- No awards this time as Soya in Naivasha recognizes sporting efforts made in 2020
Sports Personality Of the Year Awards (Soya) founder Paul Tergat has encouraged sports people to invest wisely while at the peak of their careers.
Speaking in Naivasha during the 2020 Soya recognition awards and sports symposium at Sawela Lodge, the legendary runner cited the career disrupting 2020 when the sports calendar was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.
Many athletes, he noted, were caught unprepared, and have suffered silently.
“Many of the sportsmen were really affected by the pandemic with their calendar having been disrupted by the virus,” said Tergat.
The 2020 Soya, was held as a symposium recognising efforts made during that year and the possibilities that were presented. There were no awards for individual excellence as is tradition because little sporting activity took place in the year of review.
Tergat stressed the importance of acquiring lifesaving skills and saving wisely for a “rainy day”.
“It important for sport personalities to also focus beyond their career if they want to succeed in life,” said Tergat.
“I wish to pay great tribute to our partners here today for seeing beyond the challenges and sharing their little resources towards making the Soya 2020 recognition awards and sports symposium possible to organise.”
The event will be different from previous ones with the event only recognising efforts and possibilities presented during the year 2020.
Tergat said that as resilient humans, the gala night was aimed at honouring a few people who made an effort to overcome the pandemic adversity in Kenya. Because of Covid-19 major global events like the Tokyo Olympics, World Athletics Under-20 Championships and World Sevens Series were postponed.
The pandemic also affected local sports with some leagues like the Football Kenya Federation Premier League, Kenya Cup rugby and volleyball all cancelled.
This year’s event was sponsored by the County Government of Nakuru, who injected Sh2 million, Communications Authority of Kenya (Sh2 million), Safaricom (Sh1 million) and CPF Financial Services with (Sh300,000). The 2008 Beijing Olympics 800m gold medallist Wilfred Bungei spoke about how to manage success. He moved participants with his story of how he battled alcoholism after retirement.
“I am not ashamed to share my experience as it can inspire someone. Many sportsmen and women suffer but they are ashamed to share their challenges. It took me six weeks of treatment to overcome alcoholism and I am happy to say that I have not tasted alcohol since 2012,” said Bungei.
Other speakers included 3,000 metres world record holder Daniel Komen and 2007 Word Cross country champion Lorna Kiplagat.