SOYAS 2018: Telkom Tactician Openda Gunning For Second Award

Jan 02 - by Erick Ochieng for sportpesa news

He faces stiff competition from Rosemary Owino (tennis), Josp Barasa (volleyball), Kevin ‘Bling’ Wambua and Curtis Olago (both rugby)

Telkom hockey head coach, Jos Openda, takes Kerugoya Girls High School players through the paces last year.PHOTO/TELKOM

  • Telkom hockey team head coach, Jos Openda, is among the five team managers  who are in the race for Coach of the Year Award at the 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) slated for Mombasa on January 11
  • Owino is hoping that her good show in the season will see her bag the coveted crown.Among her memorable achievements in 2018 included guiding the country back to the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group II tennis championship after 13 years hiatus
  • KCB’s Olago is positive that he will be lucky this time round after narrowly missing on the title in the past.Olago led  KCB in the successful Kenya Cup defence unbeaten.The bankers also defended the Enterprise Cup and finished third overall in the 2018 National Sevens Series
  • Barasa reclaimed the Kenya Volleyball Federation league title from rivals Kenya Pipeline at the national play-offs held at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani in Nairobi in  December with Prisons Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya- Telkom hockey team head coach, Jos Openda, is among the five team managers in the race for the Coach of the Year Award at the 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) slated for Mombasa on January 11.

Openda, who won the award in 2016, is back in the race after steering  his charges to lift the Kenya Hockey Union League title unbeaten last season.

He also guided his side to reclaim the continental title in Abuja, Nigeria with a convincing 2-0 victory over rivals, Ghana Revenue Authority, in the final held in December.

However, the hockey veteran is facing stiff competition from other tacticians including Rosemary Owino (tennis), Jos Barasa of Prisons Kenya women volleyball team, Kenya Lionesses coach Kevin ‘Bling’ Wambua (rugby) and Kenya Commercial Bank RFC’s Curtis Olago (rugby).

Owino is hoping that her good show in the season will see her bag the coveted crown.

Among her memorable achievements in 2018 included guiding the country back to the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group II tennis championship after a 13-year hiatus.

She led the Kenyan duo of Ismael Changawa and Ibrahim Kibet to beat top seeded pair of Alexis Klegou and Felix Hounkpevi from Benin to achieve the feat at the Nairobi Club in June.

She also steered Sheil Kotecha to soar over Delmas N’Tcha, also from Benin with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Wambua won a first ever Africa 7s title with the Kenya Lionesses, lifting the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens trophy in Gaborone, Botswana in May after thrashing neighbors Uganda 29-7 in the final.

He directed Lionesses to the Cup semi-finals of the Women’s World Series Qualifiers in Hong Kong in April where Kenya managed to beat South Africa for the first time.

Wambua also led the Lionesses to a sixth-place finish at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia the same month.

KCB’s Olago is positive that he will be lucky this time round after narrowly missing out on the title in the past.

Olago led  KCB to a successful Kenya Cup defence unbeaten and the bankers also defended the Enterprise Cup, as well as finishing third overall in the 2018 National Sevens Series.

Barasa reclaimed the Kenya Volleyball Federation league title from rivals Kenya Pipeline at the national play-offs held at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani in Nairobi in  December with Prisons Kenya.

Prisons had earlier beaten Pipeline in the semis at the Africa Club Championships in Egypt April before proceeding to lose in the final.

The Soya awards have been co-sponsored by Mombasa County, National Social Security Fund (NSSF),Communication Authority (CA), Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Power, LapFund, New KCC,Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), GOTv and Protel Studios.

Coach of the Year nominees

Curtis Olago

Jos Openda

Rosemary Owino

Kevin Wambua

Josp Barasa