NAIROBI, Kenya- Telkom Kenya women hockey team custodian, Cynthia Akinyi, is the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK)/ StarTimes player of the month for January 2018.
Akinyi won the coveted prize following her outstanding performance at the just concluded Africa Women Hockey Club Championships in Ghana last month.
Apart from leading her club to a second-place finish behind hosts Ghana Revenue Authority in the continental championships, Akinyi was named the best goal-keeper after conceding just two goals in the tournament.
“I’m grateful for being crowned the best goal keeper across Africa. It is a great achievement that is yet to sink in,” noted Akinyi.
The 24-year-old conceded only three goals in 2017 Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League gifting Telkom a record 20th league title which reaches its penultimate this weekend at City Park Stadium in Nairobi.
“I’m happy to win this award. I feel honored and appreciated. It’s encouraging to see people, especially journalists, recognize the efforts sports men and women put in their various fields to represent Kenya,” Akinyi told SportPesa News at City Park Stadium where she was presented the award on Wednesday.
“I want to thank my team-mates for their efforts and motivation. Without them I couldn’t have achieved this,” she added.
Apart from the StarTimes/SJAK trophy, Akinyi was gifted KSh100,000 and a StarTimes 42-inch digital television set by StarTimes Director of Marketing and PR, Mr. Japheth Akhulia.
On her way to winning the SJAK/StarTimes award, Akinyi beat other contenders including tennis teen sensations Ryan Randiek and Sneha Kotecha as well as Africa middleweight boxing champion, Nick Okoth.
StarTimes Director of Marketing and PR, Mr. Japheth Akhulia, congratulated Akinyi for her win saying they will continue to support SJAK in recognizing outstanding sports men and women.
“Telkom has been on top for many years and Cynthia’s prowess in goal has been one of the reasons for that and it is only befitting that we award her today.
“She is an inspiration to many, especially girls who are eager to play for Telkom and also the national team.
“As a brand, StarTimes will endeavor to encourage our sports men and women through these awards as a way of recognizing their dedicated efforts in the industry.
“If you are an athlete, put more effort in your discipline. It is this extra effort that has seen Cynthia crowned as a world champion,” Akhulia underscored.
Other athletes who have been honored with the SJAK/StarTimes award are Simon Kibai Cherono (Deaflympics), Helen Obiri (athletics), Janet Okelo (rugby), Ismail Changawa (Tennis), Edith Wisa (volleyball) and Fatuma Zarika (boxing).
SJAK chairman, Chris Mbaisi, reiterated Akhulia’s sentiments adding that the association ventured into the unique monthly awards to give non-football players a chance to be recognized.
“We are happy that these awards are already inspiring players to work hard to accomplish their aim,” Mbaisi noted.