Kenya Sevens received a shot in the arm after the government forked out Sh31m to foot players’ allowances and salaries.
Sports Permanent Secretary, Peter Kaberia, said th money was wired to the Kenya Rugby Union accounts last week and will be on the various national teams after SportPesa terminated their sponsorship deal last month.
Kaberia observed that they have forked out a further Sh3m to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Sh6m to the Boxing Association of Kenya for their recent trip to India. The three are part of the federations affected by SportPesa’s withdrawal.
KRU had presented a Sh50m to the ministry for the national teams including the Kenya Sevens, Simbas, Kenya under 19 team and the women’s teams. However, the bulk of the Sh31m will go the Kenya Sevens who has six leg remaining on the 10-leg World Sevens Series including Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris.
The team will also require additional funding for the Rugby World Cup Sevens slated for July 20-22 in for San Fransisco, California. Kenya are currently ranked eight on the World Sevens Series log with 35 points after four tournaments.
The union expects to get a second tranche from the government at the start of April of a similar amount. Director of Rugby at Kenya Rugby Union Thomas Odundo said the union was still hunting for sponsorships for their various brands. “Sponsorships is something you don’t wake up and get. We have initiated a process. All we can we do now is wait and hope for someone to come on board as soon as possible,” said Odundo adding that funding is required for development, referees and secretariat .
Odundo said he was delighted with the performance of the Kenya Sevens squad in the past two legs in Sydney and Hamilton and is hopeful that theyw ill continue with the same spirit in the remainder of the series.
“The boys did a commendable job in very trying conditions and we salute their professionalism in both tournaments,” added Odundo.