Shirt Sponsorship – Kenya Shujaa 7s refuse to ‘Make It Kenya’

By Richard Wanjohi

The final leg of the 2017-18 World Rugby Sevens season in Paris was supposed to be the crowning moment for Kenya’s Sevens team – Shujaa. Kenya was in a tough group consisting of Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa. Starting off with New Zealand Shujaa lost before registering comprehensive wins against Fiji and Samoa, only to miss out on the Main Cup proper on account of points made (when the Fijians beat New Zealand).

Kenya 7s Team Shujaa at Paris 7s - Image courtesy of Andrew Sawatsky
Kenya 7s Team Shujaa at Paris 7s – Image courtesy of Andrew Sawatsky

For us watching the final leg though, something was amiss. Having gone almost the entire season without a shirt sponsor, we had gotten used to the miniscule logo of a local edible oils company at the back of the jerseys.
However just before the penultimate leg at Twickenham in England the team was able to secure the sponsorship – from Brand Kenya Board- with the boys donning the newly done shirts. Meant to have the ‘Make It Kenya’ moniker on the kit’s tops (around the chest), the lads decided to make good use of the medical tape usually provided for tying up the wrists and other injuries on their person.
Various media reports were peddled about non-payment of monies by Brand Kenya, or non-remittance of the same by Kenya Rugby Union to the players, others still on the release of fund to the team by GoK earlier last week. Depending on the sources the grapevine, the heart of the jerseys fiasco will unravel as the team arrives in the country and both Union and players give us their side of the story.
To get down to serious matters, sponsorship is defined as a ‘business relationship between a provider of funds, resources or services and an individual event or organization which offers in return some rights and association that may be used for commercial advantage’ according to one Steve Sleigh.
The World Rugby which manages and organises the World Sevens Series has strict and elaborate rules regarding kit sponsorship and how the shorts and tops ought to be emblazoned. See the details here.
In Kenya Rugby Union’s case, the shirt sponsorship by Brand Kenya Board is worth KES 20 million – with the deal meant to include use of the rugby sevens team players as global brand ambassadors for Brand Kenya for the next 8 months.
Seeing as the sponsorship came at the tail-end of the 2017-18 season, there were balances of monies and allowances owed to the players and team management including the training and conditioning managers.
Reliable sources inform us the team were to be paid the monies in four tranches of KES 4 million each. An additional amount of KES 2.5 million is to be paid directly to the players at KES 100,000 each. The balance of KES 1.5 million maybe taken as the Union’s management fee.
Here’s a sample of tweets titled #MaskingGate7s:

 

So what is the crux of the matter?
1. Given the history of non-payment of salaries and allowances, and also due to the end of the 2017-18 season, the players may have felt aggrieved for not receiving their dues in good time. What would stop the officials from withholding the same?
2. There is also the small matter of unpaid dues to the management and technical team officials. With a shoestring budget, where is the Kenya Rugby Union supposed to source for these monies?
3. Third, Brand Kenya Board as a government body is part of the bureaucracy that sees monies meant to be channeled for the good of the country – in this case sport, are either delayed or swindled by cunning bureaucrats’ within the system. It has happened before with contingents of teams representing Kenya on international assignments.
The important lesson here, is that the players are the ones most affected by the sponsorship (or lack thereof). They straddle and run themselves day in and day out. Putting up sterling performances against fully professional sides by the lads is no mean feat. It is the responsibility of both the Union and corporate sponsors to ensure such fiascos do not occur.
Though Brand Kenya and Union officials have assured the players of payment of the dues, this ought not to have happened in the first place. The damage caused to both delayed payments and concealed shirts by the players is not irreparable. Hard lessons learnt from all parties.
With the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco- USA from the 21st of July, Kenya’s Shujaa team is among the nations expected to perform well and shock a few seasoned teams. This is not the time to create off-or-on-field distractions.

Here’s a link to the Kenya Rugby Union’s statement in light of the non-committal and upcoming national teams assignments. Here’s a sneak peek of the statement;

The Kenya Rugby Union wishes to clarify that it has only received Ksh 31m out of a budget of Ksh 124m that was presented to and accepted by the Ministry of Sport after our headline partner pulled out . Following a meeting with the Ministry of Sports on January 10, it presented a budget of Ksh 124m two days later. (January 12). A second meeting with the Ministry took place on January 15 before the K.R.U received a payment of Ksh 31m in early February. This amount has been used to support our national squads in various assignments and we thank the Government for this….

In the absence of Government support, K.R.U is considering pulling all its representative squads out of international assignments. In light of the fiasco in Paris this past weekend, the K.R.U will take action to make sure that this does not happen again.

Kenya Sevens finally break the duck winning the Singapore Sevens Main Cup

A shimmy here and dummy there – Sunday 17th April, 2016 marked a watershed moment for Kenyan sport. The Kenya Sevens Rugby team better known as Shujaa overcome current IRB 7s table leaders Fiji 30-7 to win the  Singapore Sevens Main Cup.

Take a quick pix- Kenya’s Shujaa – Singapore Sevens 2016 champions – image courtesy of www.stuff.co.nz

Having made two previous main cup finals in 2009 and 2013 respectively, the Kenyan side has slowly been creeping up on the bigger and more favoured teams for awhile. The HSBC IRB 2015-16 season too has been a mixed basket with the Kenyan team with posting a number of strong performances in the group stages only to falter at the quarters of the main cups.
Even in Singapore, the team had started well beating Russia, before tying with Scotland and losing to fellow Africans Blitzbokke from South Africa. Thanks to the other teams falters, the team’s determination got its redemption moving into the quarters (against France) and semis (against Argentina).
Collins Injera also won Man of the Match as he also sought to close in on the akk
Not belabouring these points, the team now looks primed to finish in the top 6 places of the HSBC IRB 7s rankings if they are able to reach the semis in the remaining 2 legs in Paris and London. The final position will definitely put Shujaa team in a prime position for a medal place in the Rio Olympics Games in August.
For now though, let’s savour the historic win after 140 tournaments, 2 previous finals, we are the CHAMPIONS!

Here’s a sneak peak of how major new outlets reported it;
BBC ;

Kenya shocked Fiji 30-7 in the final of the Singapore Rugby Sevens to claim their first World Series title. It took Kenya 140 tournaments to finally break their duck and they are only the second African nation after South Africa to win a World Series leg.

 SkySports:

Kenya pulled off a stunning 30-7 victory over Fiji in the final of the Singapore Sevens to capture their first World Series event and join the growing list of contenders for the Olympic gold medal in Rio. The East Africans, who had twice finished runner-up in tournaments, blew the Fijians off the park with six tries in the first-half, including two by Collins Injera who took his career tally to 228 touchdowns, just two behind Argentina’s Santiago Gomez Cora’s world record of 230.

FoxSports:

KENYA has stunned the sevens world with an epic upset of Fiji in the cup final in Singapore. The unfancied Kenyans destroyed the world series leaders 30-7 — delivering the African nation their first major sevens title after losing the cup final in three previous tournaments. Kenya scored six tries — all unconverted — with stalwart Collins Injera nabbing a double.

And finally CNN’s interview with Collins Injera on his exploits thus far as he tries to breaking the all-time try scoring with CNN’s Christina MacFarlane;

Kenya Sevens – Seven Top Moments of the Rugby 7s team

2016 marks a momentous year for the game of rugby and in particular the shorter version in the Sevens. Taking a look at both the 2015/2016 IRB Sevens Series and the Olympic Games in Rio in August, Kenya’s team is well-placed to claim its place and maybe rewrite history too…
20 years ago, the Kenya 7s affectionately known as Kenya Shujaa team journey started in earnest as one of the most exciting and hard-working teams in the rugby series. It also marked a start of its major sporting event in Kenya in the Safari Sevens. Through this storied past, we have decided to take a sneak peek of the top 7 moments of the game in the last 20 years since it gained prominence in this part of the world.


[NOTE: This is no scientific list and its given its order more by the chronology of events.]

1. Kenya qualifies for 3rd Edition of Rugby Sevens World Cup (2001) in Argentina

It had taken about 5 years to build a formidable team. The team had played as an invitational team at the Middlesex 7s,  Commonwealth Games in 1998, as as Dubai and Stellenbosch legs of the inaugural IRB Sevens series in 1999. The Safari Sevens also worked to whip up local team support and appetite for the game, as well as expose the team to opposition of similar experience.
At the third edition of the Rugby Sevens World Cup, Kenya announced its entry into the global stage.
From Africa there were its more fancied counterparts in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Though the team didn’t score any victories thus finishing last in the Pool (along with Fiji, Argentina, South Korea, Russia and Ireland), they did play in the Bowl beating France 12-5 before losing in the semis to Chile.

2. Kenya beats Australia – Hong Kong Sevens (2002) – IRB Sevens Series 2002/2003

Following good outings in 2001 and 2002 in various invitational tournaments and the Commonwealth Games, Shujaa team was slowly cementing its place in the game. In 2002 at Wellington 7s in New Zealand, Kenya caused a major upset topping Australia 15-12. By the end of the IRB series, Kenya was placed in the ninth position finishing within the top 10 bracket.

Ben Ayimba’s a coming for you…Image courtesy of www.kenyapage.net

The performances in this season helped the team’s campaign in becoming a core team of the IRB Sevens Series in 2004. The series usually comprises of 15 ‘core’ teams named each season depending on their experience and performance of past seasons.

3. Kenya finishes joint 3rd at 5th Edition of Rugby Sevens World Cup (2009) in Dubai,UAE
Come 2009, the Shujaa team was enjoying a rare era of success despite having a semi-professional team. It had managed to groom some great talent that even one of its players became coach and helped it one of its best seasons ever.
That player was none other than Benjamin Ayimba. Initial skepticism coming from many quarters was quickly vanquished when the team reached 7 out of 9 semi-finals and 1 final of the IRB series. In H. Kayange and C. Injera, the team had two players who came of age and produced try after try.

In the same year, the Rugby Sevens World Cup was held in Dubai, UAE. They played in a tight pool consisting of England, Tunisia and Hong Kong emerging second.  The team scored a major win over Fiji beating them 26-7 in the quarter-finals, before losing out to Argentina in the semi-finals. The team would finish joint 3rd with Samoa.

These accomplishments saw the team’s Collins Injera and Humphrey Kayange awarded the Order of the Golden Warrior (OGW) by the Head of State for their role.

4. Kenya beats New Zealand  AND
Kenya reaches Final  of Wellington Sevens (2013) – IRB Sevens Series 2012/2013

2010 and 2011 were tough years for the team and the mixed performances had the Kenya Rugby Union and sponsors influence the hiring of the management team. On the field though, Kenya Shujaa had by now become a crowd favourite and attracting attention across the series tournaments.
Once again, at the Wellington 7s, the team bested a top seed this time ,the hosts New Zealand in a memorable game. The game ended 19-14 to mark Kenya’s first roll into a Final.

In the final, Kenya was primed to play England – so much for patriotism on the side of coach Mike Friday who’s English native. If the semi-final game was a toughee, the final was a cracker and nerve-wrecking affair, requiring extra-time to be decided. And were it not for captain Andrew Amonde and Oscar Ouma being sin-binned, maybe it would have gone either way…see below;

5. Kenya finishes 5th in IRB Sevens Series for 2012/2013

Sterling performance by Kenya Shujaa finishing in its best ever position , 5th in the IRB Series deserves a mention. Given Mike Friday’s hard work with the team (we all remember how massive they all suddenly looked even for winger Collins ‘Collo’ Injera who had a tough season with the cancellation of his contract).
There were suddenly vested interests in the game some being from the Board and also the interference with the management and contractual issues. This notwithstanding the team put in its best boot forward.

6. Kenya finishes 4th in 6th Edition of Rugby Sevens World Cup (2013) in Russia

The team’s performance in the IRB series meant the team was girded with positive energy going into the Luzhniki stadium, Moscow, Russia. The most outstanding had winger Willy Ambaka being voted into the IRB Series for 2012/13 Dream Team. Pool C pitted Kenya against Samoa, African rivals-Zimbabwe and Philippines. The team topped the pool and advanced to the quarters beating France 24-19. Once again Mike Friday’s charges were to face a familiar foe, England. It was another closely-contested game ending 12-5 for the English.

Willy Ambaka whizzes past a New Zealand player – image courtesy of AFP

With the team seemingly disappointed to have to play in the third-place play-off, they lost 29-5 to the Fijians. What was worse was the how the management were treated with Friday tendering his resignation as the obnoxious now became putrid. His departure marked the end of a fairy tale season and downward trajectory of the team for the next two seasons.

7. Kenya qualifies for Olympic Games in Rio (2016)

Having endured a rough 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, the Kenyan team had one last chance to redeem itself. The change of technical bench from Paul Treu to former international Felix Totty Ochieng had not brought back the spark to the team’s performance. Many even started questioning if the team still deserved to be accorded the ‘core team’ status. It was a trying time indeed with the 2015 Safari Sevens – which usually serves as a warm-up to the team’s IRB series – having the lowest attendance ever in recent times. Tournament sponsor Safaricom had earlier in the year withdrawn its support meaning the 7s circuit was a dour affair leading to the scenario described above in the Safari Sevens.
The 2014/15 season was used to select automatic qualification to the 2016 Olympics. This was given to the top 4 teams at the end of the season. Kenya missed this badly and had to settle for the African Olympic qualifiers.
A few positives though were the return of Richard Omwela to head the Kenya Rugby Union. Choosing to go retro and nostalgic the Board chose Ben Ayimba to steady the ship. The team also had a mix of talent bringing on board tested players as well as grooming the new talent for the 2015/2016 busy season.
In the Final of the qualifiers, Kenya faced arch-rival Zimbabwe. The latter looked like they had secured the place scoring a try in the dying seconds, almost putting the game beyond Kenya’s reach. However a moment of inspiration from speedy Dennis Ombachi saved the day and as they say the rest is ….watch below;

Quick Notes:

  1. Kenya Rugby Union officials have indicated they have worked on the players contracts and they can rest easy as they play in the Series for 2016.
  2. Collins Injera  will be chasing more tries seeking to catch Argentina’s Santiago Gomez’s tally of 230 tries and England’s Ben Gollings 220 tries.Possible? Who knows…

Semper fortis Kenya Shujaa !!!

Rugby 7s – Time Kenya opened a new page

The IRB 7s season came to an end last weekend and Kenya finished off with some consolation seeing off Scotland in Edinburgh winning the Bowl and placing just within the top 10 of the IRB 7s playing nations rooster. A lot had been said about the team last season after faltering in a few tournaments coming close to the Main Finals but not quite making the cut. This year even the Bowl(s) were somewhat of an aspiration more than anything else.
True the boys exceeded all expectation in the 2008-9 season finishing 6th in the IRB rankings and discovering the exploits of Collins Injera(who finished top try scorer with  42 of these) and his elder brother Humphrey Kayange. Sidekicks such as Biko Adema, Lavin Asego,Gibson Weru along with the rest of the team have been doing their best representing a country which plays at best semi-professional 7s rugby.
The technical aspects; strength and speed training have all seemed to have taken a back seat or the technical bench has somehow run out of ideas. Watching the last tournament in Edinburg had screams for the many unforced errors that the team made and they better watch this over and over again as they start turning a new leaf.

Humphrey Kayange & his charges in the 7s team

Our humble suggestion is that the better team has seen the best of their playing days and its time there is some new talent infused to the playing unit. Between now and November we shall be having the local 7s circuit and the national team management better sharpen their pencils and draw up some great and budding talent. Next up the whole training regimen truly needs a spruce up. There might be need to consult more experienced sides like South Africa -which is Africa’s biggest bet in the game and who might be closer home than any of the other sides.
Talking of playing unit, the Kenya Rugby Union has promised to look into the possibility of turning the team fully professional. It might be not be such an easy sell given their performance in the last 2 seasons, but if well put it could serve as selling point too. The new Board may also need to seek a change in the team management and offer chance to personnel who will bring something new and fresh into the 7s team. Total dismal might not be a great idea but if done in phases it might be a boon to the team.
The new officials at KRU might also need to do less talking now and dirty their hands in the pitch and look to expand the fishing net to wider areas across the country. The usual hunts in Western and Nyanza provinces along with the usual Nairobi area are top favourites but you never know where the next Mwanja, Sudi or Ashioya comes from if the game is expanded to other regions in the Coastal, Central and Rift regions. Time we turn a new page Mr. Muthee and team…

Commonwealth Games 2010 : Kenya’s Medal Hopes

2 days to go; we shall look at what medal hopes Kenya has hoping to work some magic and join the Commonwealth nations in throwing a great party in New Delhi. Much work has been done by the Indian authorities trying to get some reprieve from the hostile media coverage and even gotten fair endorsement from the IOC supremo Jacques Rogge. 
We have also had our reservations but let’s give our Asian brothers the benefit of doubt to put out something memorable.What chances do we have of beating the 2006 medal haul of 6 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze medals? Here’s our take (DISCLAIMER: nothing scientific in determining this...);


Athletics:
This is our forte and shall continue being for the longest time. A great team assembled but some withdrawals from the 800m pair of David Rudisha and Janeth Jepkosgei ( and injury to Pamela Jelimo) means the star performers are reduced. There are also a couple of star athletes who gave the Games a miss for one reason or the other.

Ezekiel Kemboi – Kenya’s Team Captain & 3000m medal prospect

Men 
800m:- (Silver) ; 1500m:-(Gold & Silver) ; 3000m:-(Gold & Silver) ; 5000m:- (Silver) ; 10000m:-(Bronze)
4x400m:- (Bronze) ; Marathon (none)
Women
800m:- (none); 1500m:-(Gold); 5000m (Gold); 10000m (Silver)
Total Count : 4 Gold 5 Silver & 2 Bronze

Swimming:
This is ahead of traditional boxing because for the first time we have real medal prospects in the name of the Dunford ( David & Jason) brothers. Hoping the Australians, Britons and Canadians have a bad day in the temperate conditions of the Asian sub-continent, 1 silver; 1 bronze  (make that 1 gold & 1 silver and a bronze) look like possibilities.

Boxing:
With the team heavily depleted and lacking in technical expertise, we don’t foresee any medal hopes here. There might a chance of a Quarter-finalist at best.

Rugby:

Kenya 7s rugby team – courtesy of orange.co.ke 

We have a great 7-a-side team playing great rugby and impressing on the IRB Sevens circuit. But when you have such powerhouses as New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Samoa and others such as Wales and England, any medal hopes quickly vanish.The instability drawn from the team’s selection and fairly average performance in the IRB 7s 2009-10 season also slow down any progress we would have made. Don’t underrate our boys though, at least they will pull one or two upsets. Check out this blog for more analysis on the Kenyan rugby team www.rugbykenya.blogspot.com.

While we are represented in at least 6 other disciplines, none of these shall attract any medals and thus in all fairness ends our hopes. Sceptics we maybe but that’s what the reality of the team’s preparations put us. In total we foresee a total medal haul of 4 Gold, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze. Any bets on this? Sunday 3rd October the Games begin….for updates check the official site here http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org/.

Commonwealth Games: Kenya names her squad but ….

Counting less than 12 days to the Commonwealth Games which start October 3rd – 14th, various sports disciplines have named their squads for the   Games with some already setting up camp at the Kasarani grounds and others too. While the lion’s share shall be taken by traditional disciplines such as athletics, boxing, we have the current ‘fresh kids-on-the-blocks’ in rugby  (from the Rugbykenya blog) and swimming to look out to boost the medal haul. As expected the Government along with the National Olympic Committee(NOC) shall provide the support needed and facilitate the sports people trip to the Asian sub-continent. 

With various concerns about security and hygiene being expressed by inspection teams from participating countries, Kenya’s NOC Chairman’s Kip Keino words did not sound too convincing and though we shall not banish the Indian organisers, we do hope they put their house in order in good time. It will also a test to future Commonwealth Games organisers as the challenges facing the country seem to hamper sport in a big way.
As for the Kenyan contingent, we shall cheer you on and look for a healthy and well-spread out medal haul. We shall be represented in the following disciplines;
Individual Sports:
Athletics – 60 athletes ( with 16 in the paraplegic Games)
Boxing – 10 boxers
Swimming – 10
Cyclists – 9
Shooting – 6
Badminton – 6
Lawn Ball Bowling – 4
Weightlifting – 4
Table Tennis – 4
Lawn Tennis – 4
Archery – 3

Team Sports:
Rugby ( 7s team)

Rugby 7s National Circuit starts…shall this dent Kenya’s preparations to Commonwealth Games

The local rugby scene comes alive again with the start of the 7s circuit starting with the Christie 7s. This being the breeding grounds of our national 7s teams, conflicting information has it that the Kenya Rugby Union intended for the Kenyan national team players to be excluded from the initial tournaments to enable them prepare for the October Commonwealth Games in India.
Given that quite a number of teams in the Commonwealth Games also feature in the IRB circuit, the concern of the national office is an important thing to note. The local clubs have argued otherwise with some contenders such as Mwamba having 4 of their key players in the national team. With the release of the players for them to feature in the opening event ( there are 5 events in the 7s circuit proudly sponsored by Western Union), we do hope other players in the clubs shall make an impression to beef up the national team which in serious need of raise after the 2009/10 under par showing in the IRB series.
The Commonwealth Games shall also serve as a good curtain-raiser but surely hope the players do not suffer burn-out from over-exposure in the number of games to be played throughout from 2010 to 2011.

Dennis Mwanja’s Back !

One of Kenya’s celebrated rugby heroes is back in the game. Dennis Mwanja ( he should carry the nickname ‘The Menace’ better than the other Dennis Oliech !) was selected by the Kenya Rugby Union to be part of the team as they continue with the IRB Series in Adelaide, Australia and Hong Kong.
Recovering from an injury which threatened his career and also one which took too long, it is kudos for the KCB club and the others who aided in his comeback. Special mentions he made to Edward Rombo – one of the pioneers of professional rugby in Kenya. Let’s see what edge he provides to the team as they look to move beyond the current ranking of 6th position in the IRB Circuit 2010 Series. For more on this, check out www.rugbykenya.blogspot.com !
You can also watch a video of Kenyan team warming up and working the crowd into a frenzy. They are one of the biggest crowds’ favourites in the Series!

2-0-1-0


Don’t you like the way this year just rolls out the tongue? Methinks we are upto something good (unless of course we keep seeing headlines like what the funny Kenyan MPs may receive if the recommendations go through).
Sporting activities and opportunities are already in the pipeline and of course have the big one in June-July. Kenya shall also host a few events and though we might not reap as much boon from the World Cup and its crumbs, we shall feature prominently as is the case in the rugby 7s, swimming, continental club football (that’s if we can move beyond the 1st & 2nd round to Africa Club Champions League proper) among others.
We shall hope to give you the best of our insights and keep you posted on the whys and wherefores of some of the happenings. Watch out too for live coverage (unless technical issues challenge us like it happened last year during the SOYA Awards at KICC).

Great year , shouldn’t it be ?

SOYA Awards – SportsKenya Take !

With less than 24hr to go for this year’s Sports personality Of the Year Award (SOYA) about to take place at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), we have come up with our list of winners ( nothing scientific there…), let’s see how this compares with tomorrow’s winners, at least in the top categories.
Starting with
COACH OF THE YEAR:
Benjamin Ayimba – Kenya Rugby 7s coach – without a doubt, this man has managed to put Kenya firmly among the top 6 in the IRB Sevens Circuit and even came within touching distance of the Rugby World Cup 7s in Dubai.Formerly a 7s player, he has led from the front and taken the brunt when the team doesn’t perform as witnessed in 2008 when the 2008/9 IRB Circuit started with dismal performances. Sofapaka’s Robert Matano would come a close second, playing the Premier League in the first season and winning it, special!

OUTSTANDING SPORTS ASSOCIATION/FEDERATION:
It might be controversial but I go with the Kenya Rugby Football Union. Reasons being, they managed to stage the Junior World Rugby tournament, supported the Olympic bid for having the 7s game included as a Olympics in 2016 in Brazil (which sailed through), securing new (and loaded)sponsorship for the Safari Sevens tournament and 7s team too. The 15-a-side maybe their Achilles heel, but for the 7s, give it to them, they have put a fair show.

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR:
World champion , Linet Masai takes the cake here. She managed to upstage the Ethiopians and ran such a tactical race that we had not given her a chance to win it. ensured that the Kenyan women maintained the tempo and brought the country at least 2 more gold medals just like their male counterparts.

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR:
Rugby comes through for the 3rd time and this time it’s the star of the year Collins Injera. Finishing as top scorer in the IRB Sevens circuit in the 2008/9 season and losing out narrowly in the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award shows the pedigree this gent has.He was hinted to have gotten prospects of playing professional games in France and South Africa but I guess he’s decided to hack it out in the local scene. He has managed to secure endorsement from top mobile firm Nokia and boy do the ladies love this guy, check his Facebook fan-page.

SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR (WOMEN):
It’s a tricky one, but I’d put money on the Kenya Commercial Bank women’s club at the front. This is after the team lost out to eventual winners Al Ahly of Egypt but upset the form book to displace Kenya Pipeline and Prisons clubs at the pecking order of volleyball in Kenya.

SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR (MEN):
This squarely lays with Sofapaka football team. The 7s team may claim a right as well as the athletics team but Sofapaka beats them all since they ultimately won the Kenya Premier League – football – in their first outing. Given the chaotic football scene, coming up with a team and managing to give established teams with sizeable fan-bases; Sofapaka kept their cool. They play in next year’s African Champions League with money in the bank.

Those are but our thoughts. Nominations were handed in and let’s see who takes what home, the winners of the Sportsman & Sportswoman of the Year take a prize money tag of KSh. 150,000. Who’s in and who’s not? See you tomorrow at KICC!