Sharon Allela, 27, wanted to be a pharmacist, but couldn’t make the grade to go to medical school. Out of her love for football and sports, she opted to study recreation and sports management at Kenyatta University.
Five years later, Sharon is a sports consultant, sports journalist at Capital FM, and a columnist with the Business Daily and Forbes Africa magazine.
She is also a volunteer at Futbol Màs Kenya and is a member of the advisory board. Futbol Màs Kenya seeks to educate and develop social values among children and adolescents in disadvantaged communities around the world.
What does sports consultancy entail?
It involves many different things relating to sports activities such as events planning, media relations, logistics, technical team support, sports marketing and even security. My job is to manage all these aspects so I can deliver an exciting sporting experience to spectators and other stakeholders.
Is it a lucrative career?
There is a great opportunity to make money within the industry. However, sports consultancy in Africa is tough because the industry is still in its nascent stages. There is still a lot of work to be done.
Have you settled down in your profession?
I love this job, but it is a daily journey. I always strive to improve.
What’s the motivation behind your volunteer work?
The need to tell stories that would otherwise end up untold is what motivates me to keep doing what I do. Such stories can inspire future generations of African sports lovers.
I like seeing children participate in sports. Encouraging them to keep playing is the best way to nurture their talent.
How does your volunteer work blend in with your day job?
It has helped me understand values such as resilience, respect and teamwork which are essential in professional sports. These attributes make you a better person even outside work.
Being in the sports arena makes me feel alive, happier and challenged every day. There’s always the desire to outdo myself, to be more involved and to make my contribution in the industry.
What do you consider to be your biggest contribution to sports?
I have dedicated my radio shows and other initiatives to changing people’s perception on women’s involvement in sports, both as athletes and in its governance. I couldn’t be prouder to see more women joining the industry.
How has COVID-19 affected you given the cancellation and rescheduling of live sports?
When the 2020 sports calendar was all but cancelled, I had to go back to the drawing board.
Redrafting my strategy for 2021 has taken up a significant portion of time so far. I recently started conversations on Instagram with prominent figures in sports, something I’ve never done before. I engage athletes and administrators from around the world about the most pressing sports issues.
This was meant to be an Olympics year. Athletes and organisers were all deep in preparations. Billions of dollars were spent, but the event had to be postponed.
What do you hope to achieve in 5 years?
It’s my desire to raise the quality of local sports events, to encourage more people take up careers in sports, and to advance my education in sport management.