Nairobi Water handballer belatedly named December’s best sports personality

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Nairobi Water handball player Brenda Ariviza has been belatedly named the LG/Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) sportsperson of the month for December 2021.

The award for the handballer follows her stellar performance at last year’s regional club championships held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where she helped Nairobi Water Queens defend the regional women’s title. 

Ariviza was awarded with a personalized trophy and an LG SolarDOM oven retailing at Sh65,000 by Marketing Director LG East Africa Changhyun Kim on Thursday morning at the handball court in Nyayo National Stadium.

“I am so happy to win this award; I did not expect it. This is the first time I am appreciated at home and this will motivate me as the season starts. I thank my coach and teammates for the hard work and support. Our goal is to win more titles for our country, this year we will work hard to defend the title,” Ariviza said.

She added, “The Sports Journalists are doing a great job in rewarding the athletes, they cover us, and we really appreciate their good work in publisizing our events.”

Brenda Ariviza with Marketing Director LG East Africa Changhyun Kim and Nairobi Water captain Mitchelle Adhiambo. PHOTO/SJAK

On his part, LG’s Kim said the company is glad to witness growing numbers of upcoming and talented sportsmen and women across diverse disciplines which is encouraging as it is a sign of the country’s diverse sporting heritage.

“We congratulate Ariviza and wish her well in her future endeavors. I salute her for the achievements and making Kenya proud. The award celebrates talented Kenyan sportsmen and women for their accomplishments. This is an initiative of LG in East Africa in partnership with SJAK,” Kim said.

He added, “last year was marred by negative effects of COVID -19 in every sector, sports notwithstanding. However, it is a joy to note that this did not hinder most of you from bringing your A-game to the pitch.”

“Besides, the season also brought out growing numbers of upcoming and talented young sportsmen and women across diverse disciplines. We find this encouraging and a good sign of Kenya’s diverse sporting heritage.”

Ariviza was instrumental in the Jack ‘Sandan’ Ochieng-coached side’s unbeaten run as they went on to clinch their seventh regional title, unbeaten. 

To win the coveted monthly award, Ariviza beat among others, swimmer Victoria Okumu who won three freestyle events at the CANA Zone 3 Championships in Uganda and was the top Kenyan performer at the event.

Brenda Ariviza with Marketing Director LG East Africa Changhyun Kim. PHOTO/SJAK

Also, in close contest was Olympian Lawrence Cherono, who in the month of December won the Valencia Marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes 12 seconds, Mercy Ingando who won the Under-18 Africa Schools Chess Championship after winning 9 of 9 games and Veronica Adhiambo who together with Naomi Too won the Wote leg of the National Beach Volleyball Circuit.

Another nominee was Nancy Jelagat who clocked a personal best of 2 hours 19 minutes 31 seconds to win the women’s race at the Valencia Marathon. Her time, 17 minutes better than her previous best performance also received nominations for the coveted award. 

Others in contention included Rally driver Baldev Chager who won the season closing Guru Nanak Rally as well as National Cereals and Produce Board’s (NCPB) Victor Otuoma for his best goalkeeper award at the ECAHF. 

On his part SJAK President Chris Mbaisi thanked LG Electronics for their support saying the partnership continues to make a huge difference in the promotion of sporting activities across the country.

He further urged athletes to keep working on their craft as someone is always watching and their hard work would eventually bear fruits.

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