Nairobi, Wednesday 1 September 2021…Bomet County played host to the Inter-Regions Under 20 Ladies sevens tournament.
Held at Bomet University College on the weekend of 28/29 August 2021, the national event featured teams from Western, Nairobi Metro, Coast, Central, Eastern, North-Rift, South-Rift and Nyanza regions with the games running across Saturday (28th) and Sunday (29th). The event was a first for the region and gave a glimpse concerning women rugby to the surrounding community.
Nyanza Region carried the day with a tightly contested 14-10 victory against Hidden Talent Rugby Club in the final held on Sunday. The games between the eight teams offered the community in Bomet a splash of fun and talent as they witnessed women rugby on show. Players across the participating teams were students in high school and starting university.
Ronald Okoth, KRU Rugby Development Officer, stated that the event was a giant leap in the right direction for rugby in the nation.
“Through these games, we have identified 24 players who will join the National under 20 side. These games have been a highlight of the quality of talent present in our country. As a union, we are glad to have been a part of the experience. We are keen on seeing more development across the nation including in this region.” Mr. Okoth said.
The tournament was co-sponsored by the Kenya Rugby Union in partnership with Bomet University College. In its capacity as co-sponsor and host of the event, Bomet University College provided a platform for the advent of women rugby in the region. Speaking to the students after the games, Kenneth Uki, Sports Coordinator- Bomet University College, expressed his excitement concerning the amount of talent witnessed.
“As a university, we take great pride in playing a part in the growth of the beautiful game of rugby in the region,” he stated, “Sports is a pathway to excellence and we are privileged to give students a platform to engage in what they love.”
He also stressed on the need for the students to prioritize their studies alongside their life in the pitch. He highlighted that a number of challenges had to be overcome in conceptualizing the event because it was the first of its kind in the region.
As high school students and continuing university students, the players had an experience to be savored. Abigail Chepngetich, Nakuru Top Fry player, was upbeat after playing in the round of matches.
“We are very grateful to the Kenya Rugby Union for consistently providing us with avenues to have our talents nurtured as we do what we love.” She said, “The University here gives us an idea about life after high school and so we can work harder as we look forward to joining campus.”
She also highlighted the serene environment in Bomet town as well as the state of the art IAAF stadium as takeaways for her stay in the town.
The games helped increase awareness to the community in the region concerning women rugby and its feasibility to all women.
*images taken at the even in Bomet County, Kenya on 28th and 29th August