Lionesses’ ‘Shebesh’ wants to emulate Injera

first_img“I am really pleased to get this award and it is not something I expected. I have worked so hard and as a team we have done so much to come to where we are now and this will not only be a motivation for me but the team as well,” Okello said, in the midst of blushes and bubbles of happiness.“I used to look at the newspapers and saw photos of rugby players like Injera getting awards and I told myself one day I would want to be like him. He has done so well for Kenya Sevens and I would want to achieve like he has,” Okello added.Okello’s performances for the Kenya Lionesses during the 2018 Sevens World Cup/Commonwealth Games qualifiers in Tunisia earned her the award and she beat a healthy field to become the third winner of the accolade since its inauguration.Janet Okelo receiving the StarTimes TV from the company’s marketing manager Japheth Akhulia.The 25-year old was voted top ahead of team-mate Sinaida Aura who had an equally splendid performance in Tunisia, Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge who was shortlisted after his Berlin marathon victory and World Half Marathon record holder Joycilline Jepkosgei who broke the 10km record in Prague also in September.Okello received plaudits from her head coach Kevin Wambua who has described her as one of the best sevens players in the world.“She totally deserved this because she is one of the best in the world. This means a lot to her because looking at her background from humble beginnings to being the top in Africa is a good thing and as a coach I am proud of her,” Wambua said.Speaking to Capital Sport, Okello has revealed she was inspired and encouraged to join the national team by former captain Aberdeen Shikhoyi who unfortunately passed on in 2012 after succumbing to an injury she picked up during an Elgon Cup match in Uganda.“I started playing rugby while in Form Two at Butere Girls and we used to come to Nairobi annually to play in the Safari Sevens tournament. The former captain saw me and she told me I could play rugby and urged me to come try out. When I came, the coach had faith in me and that’s how I started out,” Okello disclosed.Janet Okello had a superb performance in the tournament.She had never thought rugby would be her sport especially at such a level as this and credits her quick growth to hard work and discipline.“I used to do athletics in high school. Severally, I watched girls play rugby in the school and I thought to myself, why not use all this energy I have to play this game instead of using it to fight?” joked Okello.She scored Kenya’s first ever try in the World Series against South Africa and to date, she says the memories have not left her mind.“My first time on a plane, 2013, I was very scared. I actually didn’t believe it and I thought I was dreaming. I kept telling my team-mates to pinch me to ensure I wasn’t in dreamland. I got so much motivation and from then I have just been working hard,” added the speedy utility.Her long term hope now, apart from emulating Injera and being a world beater lies in ensuring Kenya becomes a core team in the World Series and next year, see the team perform well in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kenya Sevens winger Janet Okello with the StarTimes/SJAK Sports Personality of the Year Award for September.NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2- Kenya Lionesses utility back Janet ‘Shebesh’ Okello says she wants to emulate her Shujaa counterpart Collins Injera and make a similar mark in women’s rugby as much as the Kenyan record try scorer has made in the men’s shorter version of the game.Okello, who was on Thursday morning awarded as the StarTimes/Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Sports Personality of the Month for September, says she is confident of reaching similar heights and noted the recognition will inject more confidence for her especially ahead of the new season.last_img