Sasha Feted By Startimes as Sports Personality of the Month
Sasha Mongeli is the StarTimes/Sports Journalist Association of Kenya (SJAK) sports personality for the month of October 2018.
Mongeli beat Equity Hawks player Belinda Okoth, tennis sensation Angela Okuyoti and Abraham Kiptum for the accolade.
The 21-year-old student attained the highest Women Fide Master (WFM) title during the World Chess Olympiad held in Batumi, Georgia from September 28 to October 6, 2018. It was her debut at the biennial event and she achieved the feat with two rounds to spare.
Her score of eight wins out of nine games was one of the best in the Olympiads and the highest percentage score by a Kenyan in the Olympiad’s history. She had previously gained a Women Candidate Master (WCM) title during the 15-day event before upgrading to the WFM.
Her exploits saw her win a 42-inch digital television courtesy of StarTimes as well as Sh100,000 and a trophy. And the accolades left the third-year Actuarial Science major quite surprised.
“I honestly never thought that something like this would happen to me. Chess is not a very popular sport like football, rugby or even athletics, but StarTimes has shown that indeed we matter,” she said.
“This award will inspire more chess players to continue working hard because now it is evident that our efforts are not going unnoticed,” she added. Mongeli will now turn her attention to next weekend’s season-ending Kenya National Chess Championship.
“Not many people consider chess as a sport and so to award someone from this field is quite remarkable and unique. This award is all about going beyond the norm and unearthing those that have been forgotten,” StarTimes Director of Marketing and PR, Mr. Japheth Akhulia, said.
“As a brand, StarTimes will endeavour to encourage our sports men and women through these awards as a way of recognising their dedicated efforts in the industry.,” he said.
SJAK Chairman, Chris Mbaisi, said the association ventured into the unique monthly awards to give non-football players a chance to be recognised.
TUK’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Francis Aduol congratulated Mongeli for making the university and the country proud.
“As a University we are overly excited and proud of Sasha’s achievements. Chess is one of the many sporting disciplines that TU-K has excelled in over the years. At TU-K we provide an enabling environment for our students to excel at national and international level. A good example is Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga who was a student here but took leave to pursue his professional football career overseas,” said the VC.
He thanked SJAK and StarTimes Kenya Limited for acknowledging and feting a TU-K student saying it’s a great honour to the institution.