From Ghana with love, Appiah to be chief guest at SOYA awards


The former Black Stars captain, who scored 14 goals in his 67 appearances for the side, is ...
The former Black Stars captain, who scored 14 goals in his 67 appearances for the side, is expected to jet in on Tuesday ahead of the awards./PHOTO/COURTESY/Football Ghana.com

Former Ghana international Stephen Appiah will be the chief guest at the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA), slated for Wednesday night at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi.

The former Black Stars captain, who scored 14 goals in his 67 appearances for the side, is expected to jet in on Tuesday ahead of the awards.

Appiah, who in his prime featured for Italian giants Juventus and Turkish side Fenarbahce follows after Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie who graced the 2016 edition.

Meanwhile, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) on Monday announced a Sh. 4 million sponsorship for the awards, an improved package from 2016 when they gave Sh 1 million.

In an event at a Nairobi hotel, SOYA also received Sh. 2 million from Multichoice Kenya, half of the portion going to the production cost of the event by the pay TV channels.

This is an addition to initial Sh 16 million given by main sponsor Safaricom in December 2017, for the 14th edition of the event.

SOYA awards founder, Paul Tergat addresses a gathering during the Kenyan Sport Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) gala at KICC on January 19, 2017. Two times Olympic 10,000m Champion Ethiopian Haile Gebreslassie (on screen) was chief guest. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
(FILE)SOYA awards founder, Paul Tergat addresses a gathering during the Kenyan Sport Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) gala at KICC on January 19, 2017. Two times Olympic 10,000m Champion Ethiopian Haile Gebreslassie (on screen) was chief guest. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

Speaking during the sponsorship announcement, NHIF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Geoffrey Mwangi said a new insurance fund package for athletes is coming up.

“You know the burnout for Athletes is very fast and they are out of active sports. This has prompted us to think of a sustainable package for them medically that even when they retire we continue taking care of them.

“The logic is most of them have resources when they are active, but wouldn’t afford once they retire. So how do we ensure we have a package for them when they have resources to cater for their need beyond their active lives is the conversation we are having,” Mwangi said.

Also present during the event was 1987World marathon  champion Douglas Wakihuuri, representing founder and National Olympic Committee Chairman Paul Tergat.

The overalll Sports Personality of the Year will walk away with Sh.1million, with winners in each of the other  categories pocketing half a million.

Last year, former 10,000m and 5,000m World champion Vivian Cheruiyot carried the day in 2016.

Public voting for the various nominees closes on Monday midnight.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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