Three rugby teams have been nominated for the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Awards in the Team of the Year category. Kenya Sevens team Shujaa, Kenya Cup champions KCB Rugby and Kabras Sugar Rugby have been nominated for a chance to win at the 2021 SOYA Awards gala slated for January 19 next year at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega. This year’s SOYA Awards event is sponsored by the County Government of Kakamega, Lotto Foundation, CPF Financial Services, NSSF and Safaricom.
The 3 teams have been nominated alongside football giants Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) champions Tusker and newly promoted FKF-PL side Talanta FC. Earlier this year, Shujaa garnered 34 points to finish third during the 2021 World Sevens Series behind winners South Africa with 40 points and Great Britain with 34. The team also won the Safari Sevens after defeating Germany 12-5 in the final on October 31st at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Coach Innocent Simiyu’s side also bagged silver at Vancouver 7s after losing to South Africa 38-5 in the Cup final on September 19 and won bronze in Edmonton after they beat Canada 33-14 in the play-off for third and fourth place. They were playing in the final for the first time since 2016 when they won the Singapore Sevens, their first victory in the World Sevens Series.
It was not a good outing though for Shujaa at the Tokyo Olympics as they finished in ninth place after beating Ireland 22-0 in the playoff. KCB Rugby successfully defended their Kenya Cup title after staging a 20-0 comeback to beat rivals Kabras Sugar 28-25 at Nandi Bearers and clinch a fourth straight title on September 4. During the regular season that was shortened due to COVID-19, KCB finished second after suffering only one defeat 30-23 to Kabras on August 7 in Nandi.
In football, Tusker won the FKF-PL after collecting 65 points from 32 matches in a season that was prolonged due to disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team also produced the Coach of the Year for Robert Matano, Young Player of the Year for Henry Meja and Defender of the Year for Eugene Asike during the FKF Awards gala.
Talanta won the National Super League (NSL) with four matches to go, to earn promotion to the top tier league for the first time in history.
Men Team of the Year nominees
- KCB Rugby
- Kenya Sevens
- Kabras Sugar Rugby
- Talanta FC