Kwanzanthe, Nyamira Girls lead stellar line-up in battle for 2023 SOYA glory

Monday, February 26th, 2024 02:00 | By
Kwanzanthe, Nyamira Girls lead stellar line-up in battle for 2023 SOYA glory
Nyamira Girls hockey team pose for a photo during the 2023 school games. PHOTO/SOYA

Reigning East Africa hockey and volleyball champions, Nyamira Girls from Siaya and Kwanzanthe from Machakos counties find themselves among the ten schools nominated for the upcoming 2023 Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA). 

The awards ceremony is set for March 1 in Nairobi, where the schools will contend for the Girls’ School Team of the Year.

The ten schools are part of a star-studded lineup, with National volleyball champions Kesogon (volleyball), Butere Girls (basketball and football), St Joseph’s Kitale (handball, hockey), Ototo Mixed (basketball 3x3), and netball winner Oyugi Ogango also vying for the prestigious award.

Former East Africa and national football holders Wiyeta, Madira Girls, and St Maurice Mwira Girls, winners of the rugby 7s title, complete the competitive field.

The return of the schools’ category to SOYA is significant, as it last featured in 2019 before the suspension of sporting activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nyamira Girls, Kwanzanthe, and Wiyeta are all hopeful for a chance at the coveted trophy, with Kwanzanthe having experienced success in previous editions.

Kwanzanthe had a remarkable year despite a shocking defeat to Kesogon, bouncing back to retain their title and secure their seventh regional gong. Their success extended to being crowned Africa champions after defeating Morocco’s Lycee Bin Anzarane. Terry Tata of Kwanzanthe earned recognition with the Most Valuable Player accolades in both the East Africa and Kenya Volleyball Federation women’s league.

Kesogon, in their second appearance at the national championship, managed to dethrone the reigning champions Kwanthanze 3-1 in a thrilling final at Kakamega, earning a place in the upcoming SOYA awards.

Butere Girls, known as Red Commandos, made a strong comeback to the national scene, winning the national crown in football and basketball 5x5, defeating defending champions Kaya Tiwi.

Nyamira Girls, on the other hand, marked their return by ending a 32-year national trophy drought, dominating from the sub-county level to recapturing the hockey titles lost in 2019. Vivian Akinyi, the captain of Nyamira’s triumph team, was named the FEASSSA 2023 Most Valuable Player (MVP).

St Joseph’s Girls Kitale secured their place on the nomination list by edging out handball defending champions Moi Girls Kamusinga 16-15.

St Joseph’s hockey team also earned a spot following their impressive show at the East Africa games, improving from a third-place finish at the nationals to bagging silver in Rwanda.

Madira Girls, finishing third at the national games, won the Football Kenya Federation Women Division One overall. Ototo Mixed Secondary School made history by clinching the first-ever national title in basketball 3x3, securing a bronze medal in Rwanda.

Oyugi Ogango emerged victorious in netball, beating Bukokholo 54-50 to secure their first title but faced tough competition in Rwanda, finishing fifth behind Ugandan sides.

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