SOYA organisers to host symposium in Naivasha

Some 250 sports people across all the sports disciplines will congregate in Naivasha on Saturday for a one-day sports symposium to mark the 17th edition of Sports of the Year Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) ceremony.

Organisers have opted to host a symposium in place of the annual awards gala due to the disruptions brought about by Covid-19 in sporting activities last year.

SOYA founder Paul Tergat said the event themed ‘Overcoming Diversity in Sports’ is geared towards engaging sports people on various topics such as mental health, media relations, anti-doping among others.

“We are living in extraordinary times; the pandemic has really changed our way of things. We chose our theme ‘Overcoming Diversity in Sports’ since we have to deliberate on what we are doing. We celebrate the power of sports to propel us through a difficult situation and provide an inspiration to overcome human challenges,” said Tergat.

While exemplary athletes will not be feted like in the previous editions, SOYA panel chairman Chris Mbaisi said a few outstanding sports people who embraced innovation amidst the pandemic will be recognized.

“We will not fete outstanding athletes like in the previous years since it will be unfair while others competed some were not lucky to have competitions. We will therefore go for those who were outstanding not necessarily in terms of winning competitions,” he said.

According to coordinator Kaplich Barsito, the participants in the symposium will be drawn from all the sports disciplines in the country with the event set to be held in partnership with the County Government of Nakuru.

“We had the option to cancel this year’s event since we did not have much action last year but we saw the importance of coming up with the symposium so that we can interact with our athletes from boxing, rugby, football athletics and all other disciplines,” said Barsito.

The organisers  of the event also got a massive shot in the arm when they received a sponsorship worth Sh3.3m from Safaricom (Sh1m), Communication Authority of Kenya (Sh2m) and County Pension Services (Sh300,000).

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