Halt the free fall of Rugby Sevens team

For a while, our Shujaa Rugby Sevens team looked like it was going places. In 2016, it amassed ten points on the Wellington tour to become number 8 in the Rugby Sevens world rankings.

In the same year, not only did Collins Injera topple Argentinian Gomez Santiago from the pole position of the highest tries scorer with 235 tries in the 2016 London rugby tour, the team went on to win the Singapore tour for the first time in the history of the sport.  

In the 2018 Hong Kong tour, Kenya’s Rugby Sevens team acquitted itself well despite falling to Fijians in the finals. That year, Kenya made it to the finals twice; no mean feat given the caliber and experience of competitors.

Today, the story is a complete antithesis as our team stares relegation from the World Rugby Sevens Series in the face. This follows dismal showing in last week’s London Sevens tour. The team only managed to pick one point but dropped one place to position 15; two positions above the relegation zone.

Yet even as we wonder where the rain started beating us, evidence abounds that at the root of it all, are leadership wrangles. Players’ remuneration, the Achilles heel of the Kenyan sports management, has also shown its hand.

Expecting players to give their best when they are treated shabbily is by itself a fraud by our sports managers. The CS for Sports must rise to occasion to salvage the Rugby Sevens team; indeed, all sports in Kenya.

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