The Kenya Sevens National Men’s sevens team, Shujaa were runners up at the just concluded Rugby Africa solidarity camp mini-tournaments at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sports in Cape Town South Africa.
The team traveled ten days ago for a high-performance camp together with South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The main purpose of this camp was to help the four teams in their preparations for the Olympics and the Olympic repechage taking place in the next two months.
The camp had two mini-tournaments, the first one on 8th and 9th May while the second one was held on 14th/15th May. In both tournaments, Shujaa were runners up falling short to only South Africa’s Blitzboks on both occasions.
Speaking after the conclusion of the whole camp, Head Coach Innocent Simiyu stated that he was very happy with the team’s improved performance. “We’re quite happy with how the boys are playing, we’ve had some progression in regards to the key aspects of the game that we were looking at in terms of breakdown, tackling, and kick-offs received. Our next part in the journey to the Olympics is fine-tuning other areas going forward,” he said.
During the camp, the players did their refresher courses in Level One Coaching while the management did their Level 2 Coaching refresher course as well which will help the team with their technical understanding of the game and ensuring that they are able to execute those areas effectively.
On the second weekend, the team had to do without the services of Jacob Ojee and Harold Anduvate who picked up injuries on the first weekend. “Ojee got an ankle ligament tear and he will be out for the next five weeks, he has already started his rehab process and we are wishing him a quick recovery and hopefully with his commitment in the game, he can come back sooner and be available for the LA7s. Anduvate got a slight strain on his shoulder ligament so we took the precaution of resting him so that we don’t aggravate it further but he’ll be fit by the time we’re resuming training back in Nairobi,” he concluded.
KRU’s Director of Rugby Thomas Odundo, accompanied the team to Stellenbosch. He thanked Rugby Africa, South Africa Rugby Union for organizing the training camp. “We extend our gratitude to the organizers and the Kenya government for coming through in support of all our preparation events for the Olympics. It (the camp) being for teams going to the Olympics and the Olympics Repechage, this is the sort of competition all these teams will expect going forward. We look forward to the next event, the Los Angeles 7s.”
Director in Charge of National Squads and Elite performance Oscar Mango who had also accompanied the team added that it had been very educative, “The last one week in Stellenbosch has been very educative for all those present. We have learned a lot in terms of player and management training as well as matters governance. These pieces of training have been conducted by various leaders from Rugby Africa. We have been to the facilities here at Stellenbosch and they’re top-notch, we learn from experience and we’re looking forward to bettering the facilities back home,”
The team departed South Africa on 16th May and it’s expected to land on 17th May early morning after which they will take the mandatory 10-day rest/isolation period before resuming their training.
-Material derived from kru.co.ke