Rugby Sevens move to Term One

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Thursday, December 6th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby

There will be more rugby action in next year's Secondary Schools national Term One games set for April 5-14 at Shimo La Tewa School and Shanzu Teachers Training College, in Mombasa.

According to the latest changes by the Ministry of Education, rugby Sevens has been moved from Term Two games to Term One.

In a circular by Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education Belio Kipsang to National Education Coordinators and County Directors of Education, both rugby 15s and Sevens will be held concurrently in April.  

They will be part of Term One games that also comprises basketball, hockey, swimming, handball and athletics.

Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Secretary General David Ngugi confirmed the new changes saying they are geared towards improving the standards of the games as well as harnessing specialisation. 

"Having both the longer and shorter versions of rugby in one competition means teams will work harder so they can excel," said Ngungi.

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"We are giving our schools an opportunity to build stronger teams in both events or specialise in one depending on their strength." 

Ngugi also clarified that heptathlon, decathlon and cross country have not been struck off the schools' calendar but instead fall under athletics.

"The Ministry of Education together with us (KSSSA) decided we will have all disciplines that fall under one category held together and that is why we are having rugby 15s and Sevens together," said Ngugi.

"We have also merged decathlon heptathlon and cross country together with field and track events under athletics."

"We will meet in January to plan our athletics events and our aim is to have all disciplines, including the three (heptathlon, decathlon and cross country), which featured in Term Two games this year."

Menengai High School rugby coach Evans Adenya said specialisation is the way to go even though one can still build strong sides in both events.

"Depending on the strength and quality of players, one can choose to specialise in either 15s or Sevens but I cannot rule out the possibility of a school excelling in both sports. It all boils down to hard work and dedication," Adenya said.

Menengai have succeeded in both rugby Sevens and 15s winning the 2017 national title in the shorter version in 2017 and finishing second behind Upper Hill this year.

National Term Two games will be held in Kisumu from July 26 to August 4.

The games will feature both Under-16 and 19 football, netball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis and badminton.

Kisumu will also host the 2019 National Primary School games to for July 31 to August 7.

The 2019 East Africa Secondary School games will be held in Mwanza, Tanzania.