Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Safaricom sevens 2012 attract the mighty

By Fred  Maingi in Nairobi

A star studded Samurai side comprising 6 All Black players and the
Fijian captain, and rugby Legend Jonah Lomu  are among those expected
in this year’s Safaricom Sevens which will take place between the 21st
and 23rd of September at the more spacious and better equipped Nyayo
Stadium in Nairobi Kenya .

 So far, ten teams have confirmed their participation in the Safaricom
7s and these are: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Uganda, South
Africa Sevens Academy (Emerging Boks), Shujaa, Grenoble, British Army
and Samurai.

 In 2010, leading integrated communications provider, Safaricom
Limited’s entered into a 3 year deal to become the prestigious
tournament’s title sponsor. This year, the company has set aside Kshs.
32.6 million to facilitate a successful tournament.

 “As one of Africa’s premier Sevens tournament, the Safaricom Sevens
is on every rugby fan’s diary as a must attend event. As title
sponsors, we are working closely with Kenya Rugby Union to raise the
standards of this event so that we can finally realise the dream of
being incorporated into the IRB circuit,” said Nzioka Waita, Director
– Corporate Affairs.

 “We are therefore calling on the government to support this
tournament because incorporation into the IRB circuit would boost
Kenya’s Sports Tourism drive,” he added.

 The organisers of the 17th Edition of the premier rugby tournament
have stated that the decision to return the tournament to Nyayo
stadium was informed by positive feedback from rugby fans. The venue
has been hailed for its enhanced seating capacity and easy
accessibility from as being secure and accessible from various points
of Nairobi.

In addition, tournament organisers are in talks with rugby legend and
former New Zealand great, Jonah Lomu to have him grace the event as
the guest of honour.

 In the time that this tournament has been in existence, we have seen
the Safaricom Sevens grow in leaps and bounds. Our goal ultimate goal
is to get admission into the IRB series while at the same time
ensuring that our fans have a great experience,” said Mwangi Muthee,
KRU chairman.

 “This year’s tournament will also provide fans with the chance to see
a revamped Kenyan national team begin the quest for glory ahead of the
2012-2013 international sevens season, whose highlight will be the
Rugby World Cup Sevens to be held in Russia,” added Mr. Muthee.

 In keeping with tradition, tournament organizers have also scheduled
subsidiary tournaments for schools, women and community rugby which is
in line with Safaricom’s and KRU’s vision of spreading the game to a
wider populace.

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