KRU implores Nock to allow 7s teams officials to go to Rio
The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has requested the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) to allow the men and women rugby sevens teams to retain their three-man technical benches when they travel to the Rio Olympics later next month.
The local Olympics body had earlier announced that only three positions would be available for the sport that is making its debut at the Summer Games in Brazil and suggested they share officials.
Nock explained that their places would be taken other coaches and physiotherapists who will be handling other teams in Brazil in a bid to reduce the number of travelling officials.
“We have no conflict with Nock and all we are saying is these are requirements that the World Rugby Board has asked us to fulfill and we have requested them to allow us to carry 12 players and three officials for each of the teams,” KRU Chairman Richard Omwela said on Monday.
“We hope they accept our plea because it will be very difficult for us if we try to cross-manage the two teams. The women’s team has its own unique requirements and bringing in a different guy to take charge will be very detrimental to their preparations,” he added.
Nock decided to exclude Mike Shamiah, the Kenya Lionesses coach, Geoffrey Kimani (Strength and Conditioning) Lamech Bogonko and Ben Mahinda (Physiotherapists) from the men’s side in the travelling contingent.
The Chairman was speaking at a Nairobi hotel where the KRU announced a partnership agreement with Tatu City that will support the Kenya 15s upcoming Elgon Cup return leg against Uganda on July 30 and Test games against Hong Kong on August 23 and 27.
The Ksh5m deal will cater for the team’s travel, food and accommodation expenses among other logistics.
“Tatu City coming on board as Associate Test Sponsor plays a big role in ensuring that we are able to comfortably host test matches. Our partnership will play a significant role in developing and raising the profile of test rugby in Kenya,” Omwela asserted.
The partnership also aims to support the long-term development of Kenyan rugby, including a commitment to partner with KRU’s Get Into Rugby program. Get into rugby works with children to fulfill their growing passion for the sport.
“We need high performance set ups that prepare the kids in the different age-groups and ignite their interest in rugby when they are still in their early years,” he added.
The Simbas squad is preparing to face Namibia in Windhoek on Saturday for their final match of the Division 1A Africa Cup.
The 15s team thrashed archrivals Zimbabwe 61-15 in front of their home crowd in Harare last weekend and is gradually climbing up the world rankings currently placed at 26.
Only Namibia and South Africa are placed higher in the African continent.