Kenya’s kayaking ace Muturi wins 500,000 after claiming SportPesa’s Tujiamini Gold Award in Central

May 9, 2024
S Ochieng

Samuel Muturi, the 29-year-old kayaking ace from Kenya, has received a massive boost towards his ambitious Olympic aspirations after being unveiled as the Central Gold Award winner in the ongoing Tujiamini initiative powered by leading online gaming firm SportPesa.

Muturi received Ksh 500,000 from Tujiamini in support and recognition of his talent which he is hoping will propel him to be coming Kenya’s first-ever Olympic canoe slalom kayaker.

During the unveiling that took place at the Savage Wilderness Whitewater Rafting Centre in Sagana, Kirinyaga County, Muturi’s prowess was evident as he displayed his skills and mastery in the water paddling sport alongside one of his teammates.

“I have participated in several events, four world championships and three African championships including the Africa Olympic Qualifiers held in Sainte Suzanne and La Reunion.

However, it is not easy for us to train around here because we don’t have a permanent course. While we try our best with what we have, water sports equipment is expensive and we have no choice but to train with our old gear.

Therefore, this support will really help us to improve kayaking and canoeing in Kenya,” said Muturi.

Tujiamini Gold Award

SportPesa’s brand ambassador Biggie hands over the Tujiamini Gold Award to Samuel Muturi

As he continues to make waves in the world of water sports with the aim of representing Kenya in the 2028 Olympics, Muturi elaborated his commitment to attracting young talent in growing the niche sport in the country.

Muturi trains local youngsters around his home in Sagana, hoping to encourage more people to take up water sports and put canoe slalom kayaking on the Kenyan Olympic agenda.

At the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, Muturi achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Kenyan canoe slalom kayaker to qualify for a semifinal in an international competition.

The 29-year-old, who competes in the K1 andC1 categories including the extreme Slalom discipline, currently works with his coach Titus Mureithi and about 20 teammates with the Savage Wilderness Whitewater Rafting Centre serving as their training grounds.

According to Mureithi, the Tujiamini initiative offers a very good platform for talent at all levels and Samuel’s award resonates perfectly with the intended impact on emerging talents.

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Willis Ojwang, the Communication and Advertising Manager, SportPesa, noted the uniqueness of water rafting and paddling sports such as canoeing and kayaking which are relatively unknown in Kenya but have a huge potential in mopping up talent in the grassroots.

“As a young boy, Muturi watched rafters float downstream, igniting his passion for water sports. Today he is a trailblazer who is not only committed to achieving his dream of representing Kenya as the country’s first-ever Olympic canoe slalom kayaker but has chosen to also inspire other young people to take up the sport.

That is the true essence of believing in oneself. This is what Tujiamini Initiative is all about,” he said.

Muturi’s unveiling follows that of five and80 winners in the silver and bronze categories respectively during the conclusion of the Tujiamini Cheza Dimba Tournament in Kirinyaga.

ALSO READ: SportPesa launch revolutionary Tujiamini Initiative to nurture talent

Tujiamini is an initiative that seeks to provide a platform, including up to 30M shillings in funding, for individual, team sports and various talent, in a year-long campaign that will go around the country in a move aimed at evoking the sense of pride in Kenya’s sports and talent ecosystem.

Applicants are urged to submit their applications through