The Ministry for Sports has hosted the Kenya Rugby Sevens Team, Shujaa 7’s, following their triumphant Olympics qualifiers in Harare Zimbabwe, securing a direct ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The team that jetted back in the country last evening, won all their matches in Harare, beating Namibia 51-0, Burkina Faso 26-0, Zimbabwe 35-10, and south Africa 17-12, to signify a step in the right direction in the rebuilding process, following the team’s relegation from the elite World Rugby Series.
“We are here to celebrate you, for earning the ticket to represent the country at the very pinnacle of world sports-the Olympics. We celebrate the success of the reconstruction process at the rugby space and I’m proud that Rugby union is doing this in a deliberate, intentional and structured manner,”
said the CS.
“I watched you beat Namibia, Bukinafaso, Zimbabwe and South Africa and we followed every single bit of those games. We could see your determination, which ultimately delivered the results we are celebrating today, for which you have made us proud.”
“To be the best, you must beat the very best in the world. I personally followed each of your games. We were on the tender Hook, edge and we saw you beat the big boys. As we celebrate you, we want to reiterate the government’s position to continue supporting you to return to the top of the world’s rugby. To do this, we must keep investing in our youth to build a talent pool that feeds our national teams,”
quipped CS Ababu.
The CS added that his ministry is deliberate and intentional in talent development, noting that the focus was on the schooling ecosystem where the raw gems are in plenty.
“Even if you’re on the right track you have to keep moving or risk being run over. Our youth development must be anchored in the school ecosystem. We want the young people participating in school activities to know that there is a pipeline for their talents.
We have to invest in a high performance training facilities as a country, to put you in an environment that gives you the best opportunity to compete with the best globally.
PS Eng. Tum added that the ministry through the leadership of CS Ababu is committed to facilitating our sportsmen and women, to create a conducive environment to better prepare the for next year’s Olympics.
“We know that results are not by accidents but only through proper preparations can we conquer the world. As a ministry, we assure you of our support to facilitate your preparations for the next year’s Olympics where we believe that you will get us a podium position,”
remarked PS Tum.
The Chairperson of the senate committee on Labour and Sports Hon. Julius Murgor who was also present, lauded the CS for his efforts to revive sports in Kenya, adding that his committee was ready to support the ministry’s sports revival agenda.
“I’m the chair of the committee that has seriously oversight this ministry and the minister. I must admit today that indeed the ministry is doing a commendable job in taking our sports to the right direction as witnessed by the events here today,”
noted Hon. Murgor.
” I want to assure you that even as we oversight the minitry, as a legislative committee, we will provide all the necessary support to realise the full turnaround of our sports,”
On his part, the Kenya Rugby Union Chair Sasha Mutai committed to walking the rebuilding journey with the ministry, assuring the CS that his federation was deliberate and structured in its quest to return rugby to the elite stage.
National Olympics Committee of Kenya Secretary General Francis Mutuku exuded confidence in the team’s ability to get Kenya a medal in Paris Olympics. He lauded the government through the ministry for the support accorded to the various sporting disciplines in their Paris Olympics qualification journey.
The CS presented the Shujaa team with the ministry’s support of KES 3 million as a reward for qualifying for Paris Olympics.
“You know it is very uncommon for us to offer teams cash awards for qualifications, but having spoken with your President H.E. Dr. William Ruto who is your number one fan, he asked me not to let your efforts in Harare go unrewarded and sent me to present to you this Cash award of 3 million shillings to put pesa mfukoni for your good showing,”
announced the CS as he presented the cheque to the team.
Shujaa is the second team sport from Kenya to qualify for the Paris Olympics 2024, with Kenya queens Malkia Strikers being the first to secure the ticket.
Currently the ministry is supporting the lionesses in its qualifiers where, there is high expectation for them to secure yet another ticket to the Olympics.