Kenya Lionesses utility back Janet Okelo is the sports personality for the month of September. Okello, who plays her club rugby at Northern Suburbs becomes the third recipient of the monthly award which is a partnership between the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya and pay television channel StarTimes to reward all deserving sports personalities on a monthly basis in a bid to bolster the general performance of sport in the country as well as whipping up the enthusiasm of Kenya’s sports men and women in the country.
Okello was a star performer during the Women’s Africa Cup Sevens in Tunisia in September where the Kenya Lionesses qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games for the first time as one of top two ranked African Commonwealth nations.
She was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the Women’s Africa Cup Sevens and also emerged the second highest try scorer behind team-mate Sinaida Aura.
— Kenya Rugby (@OfficialKRU) November 2, 2017
She was instrumental in Kenya Lionesses qualification despite losing 17-12 to South Africa in the final of the tournament. Lionesses finished second.
The 25-year-old faced competition from team mate Sinaida Aura who was the top try scorer at the Women’s Africa Cup Sevens, Joyceline Jepkosgei who broke the world 10km record at the Birell Prague Grand Prix posting 29:43 for victory. That was Joyceline’s fifth world record of the year having broken -10km, 15km, 20km and the half marathon– en route to her victory at the Prague Half Marathon. Berlin Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge was on the list too.
“I am truly honored to win this award, my first ever award on home soil. I am surprised to be the winner as I did not ever expect to be awarded. This is a good motivator as we prepare for the Commonwealth games, thank you StarTimes for standing with sportsmen and women in Kenya. I dedicate this award to the entire Kenya Lionesses team and technical, we are one unit, I succeed because we are a team,” said 25-year-old Janet who is one of fastest rugby players on the continent.
Okello’s other achievements include being the top try scorer during the 2015 and 2016 Women’s KRU 10 League. During the 2016 season she had 41 tries. Janet was also the first player to score a try in the World Rugby sevens for Kenya Lionesses Rugby team.
“Congratulations Janet Okello having been picked as Kenya’s best sports personality for the Month of September. She has been outstanding in her exploits and for sure she deserves this special recognition. As a brand, StarTimes will endeavor to encourage our sports men and women through these monthly awards as a way of recognizing their dedicated efforts on the field,” noted StarTimes Director of Marketing and PR Japhet Akhulia.
Okello walked away with a trophy, 42-inch StarTimes digital television set and 100,000 shillings. Janet is the third recipient of the monthly award after Simon Cherono and Hellen Obiri.