Ayimba happy with progress of Masaku sevens tourney

By BS Mulavi | Jun 28, 2014

Masasku 7s tournament director Benjamin Ayimba has said that the main aim of the tournament is for the development of rugby and everything else is a bonus.

Speaking during the preparation stages of the tournament, Ayimba dismissed talk that the tournament is just a social event.

According to the former Kenya National Sevens coach the main aim they came up with the tournament three years ago was to spread rugby to a town that was otherwise unfamiliar with the sport.

Ayimba feels that the tournament is starting to mature and serve its purpose, given that they have introduced a second tier competition which will give more teams an opportunity to play in the games.

"We have invited forty teams to the tournament, which I must say exposes quite a number of players to competitive rugby."

Some of the local sides included in the tournament are Kilunda RFC, Makueni, Thika, Kiambu and Meru.

Had it not been for the Masaku sevens some of these teams would not have gotten the opportunity to brush shoulders with the likes of Kenya Harlequin, Mwamba and Nakuru RFC.

Ayimba feels that the true winners of the tournament will not be the side shows up at the grounds, but rather the level of competition on the field and the number of players exposed at the games.

"We are purely concentrating on rugby, but that does not mean we do not appreciate the role played by the other parties that make Masaku Sevens what it is," he explained.

"I think it is a win-win situation for both the rugby fraternity and the suppliers who will offer entertainment or food at the venue,"Ayimba said.

Ayimba also considers the tournament as a family event that will light up the up and coming Machakos town.

The Masaku sevens has made enormous strides in just three years. In the first year of the tournament, the games could barely get 16 teams, but they are now looking at 40 teams, with teams from outside the country also participating.

The initial prize money has grown from Sh50,000 to a whooping Sh500,000 and according to Ayimba the sky is the limit.

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