All set for youth beach rugby tournament in Kwale
The Diani Beach in Kwale County will play host to some scintillating rugby action this weekend as the South Coast Youth Beach Rugby tournament goes down place at the Alliance Safari Beach Hotel.
Following the success of the South Coast Fives touch rugby tournament held at the same venue in July, event organizers have decided to up the ante and have a full contact youth rugby tournament on the shores of one of Kenya’s most pristine beaches.
The event, the first of its kind in the region, will feature players under the age of 18 who are part of or affiliated with the South Coast Pirates rugby academy, and rugby teams from the coast region in general.
This is in an effort to showcase the work done by the academy in raising the profile of rugby in a region where it is not a major sport.
An impressive sixteen teams, including four girls’ sides have confirmed their participation for the event.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, Leon Lubanga who is the Kenya Rugby Union Regional Development Officer lauded the South Coast Pirates for setting the pace when it comes to grassroots rugby development at the coast.
“I'm really excited about the good job the South Coast Pirates is doing to grow rugby in the region by investing in the player development pathways from age grade rugby to senior levels.
“It is great seeing their coaches involved in coaching activities in different schools within Kwale County especially the girls’ schools,” he said.
The tournament adds to efforts to find a perfect convergence spot for sports and tourism.
“Beach soccer, surfing, beach volleyball, and sports fishing competitions are some of the sports that have the power to boost visitor numbers for a tourism sector that has taken a hit from COVID-19.
“There is also a need to help nurture sporting talents within our communities and we are setting a platform where all this can happen,” the Alliance Hotels Senior Sales and Marketing Manager Suzanne Gathitu said.
Games will kick from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on both days and will use a league based format. The coast branch of the Kenya Rugby Referees Association will provide technical expertise over a two-day referee training course and will monitor each game.
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