Nyang Leeon Oduor wins Tujiamini Silver Award with Project MindStrong, #MindFitiGameFiti

April 30, 2024

Project MindStrong, aims to emphasize the crucial role of mental wellbeing in achieving optimal athletic performance through balancing life on and off the pitch.

The initiative, started by talented rugby player Nyang Leeon Odour, aims to show that a healthy and stable mind is the key to a perfect game. MindStrong aims to raise awareness and provide resources to help athletes develop and maintain their mental fitness.

Leeon is no stranger to mental health issues having been diagnosed with soft tissue brain damage after suffering a head knock during a rugby match. The symptoms and effects of the soft tissue damage saw him miss his school exams and push him further away from accomplishing his dreams of playing Rugby for Kenya 7s.

A promising schoolboy rugby talent, Leeon started suffering seizures caused by the soft tissue damage which saw his mental health impacted heavily. Leeon had no choice but to put his sports ambitions aside and focus on his schoolwork and recovery. Joining Edgerton University, he started working hard on his grades and focusing on strengthening his mental health.

Well informed on the dangers of concussions, Leeon took his recovery seriously and slowly progressed back into playing with the Egerton Wasps, after sitting out for 3 years. After playing one season his talents were recognised by Kenya Cup side Nakuru RFC. However, on doctor’s orders, Leeon was again requested to take another sabbatical from the sport due to a reoccurring concussion symptom.

During his sabbatical Leeon decided to help his university team off the field in the local sevens and varsity league tournaments, which is where he came up with the message behind Project MindStrong and the #MindFitiGameFiti.  

After graduating, Leeon again rejoined the playing arena and represented Kenya Harlequins on the SportPesa Sevens Series, even managing to finish top try scorer at the Kabeberi sevens.

Having recently moved to Nyeri county, Leeon volunteers with WAKA Africa as a mental health educator and with Women in sustainable STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Africa as a lead blogger as well as doubling up as social media manager to AS Sports Africa.

Through workshops, training programs, and online resources, MindStrong aims to empower athletes to unlock their true potential by focusing on their mental health. Leeon is someone who has learned firsthand that mental health in sport is often over-looked as a key performance indicator for athletes across all sports and levels of competition.

Leeon is hoping to further his expertise in mental health by doing a master’s degree at USIU Africa University, while his announcement of Tujiamini Silver Award winner sees KSh100,000 put towards Project MindStrong.

The Tujiamini Silver Award is awarded to 5 applicants each month, to submit your application head to the Tujiamini website. Tujiamini is an initiative by leading online gaming firm SportPesa, empower athletes and talented individual and teams through-out Kenya.

Tujiamini Leeon. #MindFitiGameFiti