By BS Mulavi
The annual Sevens rugby will soon be held in Naivasha or Mombasa if plans by the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) materialise into something tangible.
KRU chairman Mwangi Muthee said the event has proven to be a very useful sports tourism mechanism and for it to be fully exploited there is need to move the tournament to another city away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi.
“If you look at the South African leg of the International Rugby Board Sevens Circuit, it is not being held in Johannesburg, and it started in the small town of George,” he explained.
“No tourist wants to be hustled in the noisy environment of the capital city, when they can have quieter options.
“As a country we have been talking about county development and this tournament can help in that initiative, because I believe a town like Mombasa has the ability to hold a tournament of such magnitude mainly because of their bed capacity and the extra benefits they fans will get from the tournament,” he added.
This initiative is not far from realisation according to Muthee who had invited the Naivasha Executive Committee, which comprises of the Naivasha Mayor and several councilors to the tournament to see what potential the games hold.
“As we speak, we have just had a major breakthrough with the Naivasha committee who have committed to allocating a potion of land to the development of rugby in the area in a bid to boost sports in the area,” he said.
Muthee’s vision for rugby is that it should be made the national sport, “we have seen great ownership of the sport, as witnessed by the large crowds who have come to the event,” he expounded.
“At one point we had to lock the gates because we were worried we might admit beyond capacity.”
“It is now our aim to take the sport to the other counties so that they can also enjoy what we are enjoying here in Nairobi and make the sport our national sport.”