Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) in collaboration with StarTimes on Saturday awarded nine coaches for their exemplary efforts as Coach of the Month Award winners for the period between April and December 2023.
Martin Abunde, head coach of Roll Ball national team was named April’s Coach of the month in a colorful ceremony held in Nairobi.
Abunde edged out two other top competitive coaches to the award after his World Cup heroics with the national roll ball teams in India.He guided the Kenya national women’s and men teams to the historic Roll Ball World Cup victory.
The Kenya women’s team crashed Egypt 5-0 in the finals. Despite arriving late for the global tourney played in Pure, India, Kenya defeated Nepal 8-1, France 10-0, Sri Lanka 6-2 and Egypt 2-1 in the group stages. Kenya then overcame Poland 2-1 in the semi-finals.The men’s team on the other hand saw off hosts India 7-4 in the final to complete a double.
Abunde garnered 31 votes to edge out Kabras Sugar’s Carlos Katywa and Nyamira Girls Hockey coach Eliakim Obondo.
Boniface Nyamuhnyamuh of Vihiga Queens football team was named May’s winner for guiding Vihiga Queens to the coveted 2022-2023 FKF Women’s Premier League title. Vihiga finish top with 55 points, seven points ahead of Gaspo who finish the season second.
Gor Mahia’s tacician Jonathan McKinstry won the June 2023 award after helping his side win their record 20th FKF Premier League title. Gor finished top with 70 points, a point above Tusker whom they dethroned after previously winning the title two seasons in a row.
July 2023 winner Patrick Odhiambo won the award after helping Kakamega Homeboyz win their first ever silverware. Homeboyz defeated Tusker 1-0 to win the Mozzartbet FKF Cup. Homeboyz thus bagged Sh2 million in prize money and also earned the right to represent Kenya at the 2023/24 CAF Confederation Cup, the first time they played in continental football.
Nyamira Girls hockey team coach Eliakim Obondo was named the
Eliakim Obondo won the August award after helping Nyamira Girls rack up their first ever East African Secondary School games title two months after leading his side win the KSSSA National title in 32 years. Nyamira Girls won all the titles from Sub County, County, Regional, National, East Africa.They will represent Kenya at World School Games this year in Serbia.
Obondo beat Paul Bitok who helped Kenya’s Malkia Strikers win the African Volleyball Championship for the first time since 2015 by defeating Egypt 3-0 in the final in Yaounde, Cameroon to also qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics.
Other winners were Kevin Wambua of Rugby-Kenya Sevens in September, Japhet Munala of KCB Women Volleyball team in October, Moses Andiwo of Equity Chess in November and Evelyne Kedogo of Basketball 3 by 3 in December.
Munala led KCB to the 2023 Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) Premier League title victory whilst Andiwo won the award after helping Equity Bank Chess Club win the 2023 Kenya National Chess Premier League (KNCPL) champions.
StarTimes CEO Jimmy Carter Luo expressed his joy during the event and announced StarTimes continued SUPPORT to SJAK.
He said that the StarTimes will continue investing in support of the sport across the Country.
“I’m very happy for this occasion and StarTimes will continue supporting local talents across the Country,” SJAK President James Waindi on his part said“ We are very pleased with the partnership with Startimes, it comes at an ideal time where all eyes are on AFCON 2024. We mostly award players of the month but not the person who is behind their success. Thank you StarTimes for appreciating the efforts made by our coaches. I would like to congratulate all the coaches being awarded today for their excellence performance.”