•This year's SOYA will majorly take stock of the issues affecting, such as mental health, anti-doping, handling fame and failure as well as sports media and branding.
•CPF Financial Services, Safaricom, Nakuru County Government and Communications Authority of Kenya have come on board as partners.
The 2020 Sports Personality of the Year Awards will not focus on awarding the best sportspersons but will majorly take stock of the issues affecting the sector.
The event, to be held in Naivasha this weekend, will pay attention to issues, such as mental health of players, anti-doping, handling fame and failure as well as sports media and branding.
"The event will be different from previous as we shall not be rewarding top performances in area of sport but rather recognising efforts and possibilities during the year 2020," SOYA chair Chris Mbaisi said.
At the end of the symposium, there will be a gala night and appreciation dinner to recognise persons in the industry who have soldiered on despite the adversities precipitated by coronavirus.
"Because sports is a resilient human endeavour, we shall host a sports symposium and a gala night to honour a few people who made an effort to overcome the adversity. This will be done across seven categories as opposed to the usual 16 categories," Mbaisi said.
Also speaking at the Panafric Hotel on Wednesday to announce the symposium, SOYA founder Paul Tergat said the ability to organise SOYA in the midst of the pandemic is evidence of the stoic attitude by sports stakeholders.
"It is encouraging that we are slowly emerging and various sporting activities are gradually resuming. The theme for this event — overcoming adversity — underlines what we are trying to do as the sporting community. My hope is we can eventually pull together out of this pandemic," Tergat, also the National Olympic Committee-Kenya president, said.
He thanked CPF Financial Services, Safaricom, Nakuru County Government and Communications Authority of Kenya for their support during this difficult times.
"I wish to pay great tribute to our partners here today for seeing beyond the challenges; indeed, the adversity of Covid-19 and sharing their little resources towards making the SOYA 2020 recognition awards and sports symposium possible to organise," he said.
Nakuru County Government injected Sh2 million, CAK contributed Sh2 million whereas Safaricom and CFP gave Sh1 million and Sh300,000 respectively.