SCHOOLS: From the classroom to the field, Kisumu Girls ready to lift national rugby trophy

Kisumu Girls training for the national finals after winning Nyanza Region rugby 15s title.[Washington Onyango, Standard]

In the heart of the Nyanza Region, where academic excellence, drama, and music have long been the hallmarks of Kisumu Girls High School, a new chapter is being written—one of triumph on the rugby pitch.

The girls’ rugby 15s team has defied expectations, securing their spot in the upcoming Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) national Term One games in Machakos, marking their debut appearance at the prestigious event.

Kisumu Girls training for the national finals after winning Nyanza Region rugby 15s title.[Washington Onyango, Standard]

For years, Kisumu Girls has been synonymous with academic prowess, but this year, they’ve rewritten the script by breaking into the sporting arena.

Breaking free from their customary trajectory of reaching the Kisumu County finals, they ventured beyond, clinching the Nyanza Region finals with an astonishing display of talent and determination.

Kisumu Girls coach Paul Nyamita. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Under the guidance of coach Paul Nyamita, formerly of Maseno School’s rugby coaching staff, the team’s journey to the national stage has been nothing short of remarkable.

“Our aim was to instill belief in the girls that they could excel in sports, particularly rugby,” said Nyamita, reflecting on his efforts to inspire the team.

Kisumu Girls coach Paul Nyamita (left) speaks to his players duirng a training session. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Introducing rugby to Kisumu Girls in January, Nyamita faced the challenge of fast-tracking the team’s understanding of the game’s intricacies.

Through dedicated coaching and intensive training sessions, the girls quickly grasped the required skills and rules, paving the way for their rapid ascent.

Kisumu Girls training for the national finals after winning Nyanza Region rugby 15s title.[Washington Onyango, Standard]

With meticulous attention to skill development and rule comprehension, Nyamita facilitated a rapid assimilation of rugby fundamentals, ensuring his players were primed for success on the pitch.

Despite rugby’s traditional association with boys or men, Kisumu Girls embraced the sport wholeheartedly, under Nyamita’s guidance, prioritising player safety and injury prevention.

Kisumu Girls training for the national finals after winning Nyanza Region rugby 15s title.[Washington Onyango, Standard]

“While rugby is often associated with men, we’ve embraced it wholeheartedly at Kisumu Girls,” Nyamita said.

“Safety has been paramount throughout our journey. We’ve implemented stringent measures to prevent injuries, and our fast first aid system ensures swift response to any emergencies.”

Kisumu Girls training for the national finals after winning Nyanza Region rugby 15s title.[Washington Onyango, Standard]

The Nyanza Region finals saw Kisumu Girls clinch the rugby 15s title in a thrilling showdown against Koru Girls.

With a 6-0 victory secured through precise penalty conversions by captain Laureen Atieno, who was voted the Most Valuable Player, the team announced their arrival on the national stage with flair.

As they prepare to face formidable opponents at the nationals, Nyamita remain undaunted by the challenge ahead.

Kisumu Girls training for the national finals after winning Nyanza Region rugby 15s title.[Washington Onyango, Standard]

“Our focus is on conquering the nationals, despite being newcomers. We respect our opponents from Western and Rift Valley,” said Nyamita.

In Group A, Kisumu Girls will lock horns with St Joseph Girls Kitale, Mwira Girls, and Kivandini Girls.

Group B has Katwanyaa Girls from Eastern, Paul Harris Girls from Coast, Nairobi’s Hidden Talent and Kinale Girls from Central. Nyamita believes in his team’s ability to rise to the occasion and make their presence felt on the national stage.

Kisumu Girls coach Paul Nyamita (left) speaks to his players duirng a training session. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

“We understand the magnitude of the challenge, especially facing established powerhouses from Western and Rift Valley. However, our journey to nationals embodies resilience and determination. We’re prepared to leave our mark and showcase Kisumu Girls’ potential on a national platform,” said Nyamita.

As the countdown to Term One games begins, all eyes will be on Kisumu Girls rugby, as they aim to script another chapter in their remarkable journey.

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