Watamu beach rugby festival returns after 7-year hiatus

Team Dola during the Malindi Beach Rugby festival festival last year.[Courtesy]

Rugby enthusiasts are gearing up for an exhilarating weekend as the much-awaited Watamu Beach Rugby Festival makes its grand return after a seven-year break.

Organized by Tajiriba Sports, the festival is set to take place on June 8th at the picturesque Aquarius Beach in Watamu, Kilifi County.

Following the success of last year's revival of the Malindi Beach Rugby Festival, Tajiriba Sports is bringing back the excitement of beach rugby to the Kenyan coast.

Brian Mwenje in action during the Malindi Beach festival last year.[Courtesy]

The event promises to be a highlight of the sporting calendar, attracting teams from across Kenya and beyond for a thrilling display of beach rugby action.

Watamu, renowned for its stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, sets the perfect backdrop for this unique sporting event.

With the festival being part of a two-leg beach rugby series culminating in the Malindi Beach Rugby Festival in October, teams are gearing up for an intense competition under the coastal sun.

Beach rugby, a variant of traditional rugby union played on sandy shores, will see men's teams, women's teams, and mixed teams competing in a social 5-aside touch rugby format.

Action during the Malindi Beach rugby festival.[Courtesy]

This inclusive setup encourages camaraderie and spirited play, fostering a lively atmosphere that extends beyond the competition.

"We're thrilled to revive the Watamu Beach Rugby Festival," remarked Mr. Sammy Khabiri, the Event Director. "It promises to be a memorable weekend of sporting excellence and beachside fun."

Anticipation is building among participating teams, with notable entries including Swans Sports Club from Uganda confirming their participation with three teams. Teams from Nairobi and Mombasa are also set to join the fray, ensuring a diverse and competitive lineup.

Leon Lubang'a, CEO and Event Chairman of Tajiriba Sports, emphasized the importance of reviving beach rugby in Watamu.

"Beach rugby is synonymous with the Kenyan coast, and we're excited to bring back this unique sporting experience. It not only delights rugby fans but also boosts sports tourism in the region," he stated.

Brian Mwenje in action during the Malindi Beach festival last year.[Courtesy]

In addition to the on-field action, attendees can look forward to an electrifying beach after-party on Saturday night, promising a festive atmosphere and celebrations long into the evening.

As the countdown to kickoff begins, Watamu braces itself to welcome rugby enthusiasts for a weekend filled with athleticism, camaraderie, and the thrill of beach rugby.

The revival of the Watamu Beach Rugby Festival marks a significant moment for sports tourism on the Kenyan coast, promising participants and spectators alike an unforgettable experience by the sea.

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