NAIROBI, April 21 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has rewarded the Kenya Sevens team with Sh10 million after their conquest at the eighth leg of the HSBC World Series in Singapore where they won the main cup for the first time ever after a 17-year wait.
While congratulating them for the feat and announcing the Sh10million reward, the President has also directed the union and sponsors Kenya Airways to ensure the players are paid all their pending dues while promising support for their remaining tours as well as towards the Olympics.
“We shall also ensure that all their dues even from some of parastatals who have been supporting them, but wameanza kuregarega they will get what is rightfully theirs because you have given what is rightfully ours by making us proud and putting us on the world map,” President Kenyatta said.
He received the entire team at State House where they addressed the press and thereafter had a private dinner together.
There was a light moment when Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba requested the President to turn back the hand of time to his rugby playing days at St. Mary’s High School and do a dummy line out with the players.
Though he appeared uneasy on the first attempt, he finally agreed upon convincing from Ayimba and the Head of State was perhaps consoled by the strong arms of captain Andrew Amonde and utility Willy Ambaka who lifted him for the line out with vice captain Collins Injera throwing.
The President received a thunderous applause from the players and guests after successfully plucking the ball off the air and offloading to Humphrey ‘Tall’ Kayange.
In his address, the President congratulated the team for their efforts in Singapore and expressed confidence they would take the form to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
“Mine is just to congratulate you to say on behalf of all Kenyans that we are grateful for what you’ve done.”
“Truly and I think I speak on behalf of many millions of Kenyans who last Sunday watched this most dramatic final; what has been happening in the past with all other tournaments, some of us had began to lose hope,” President Kenyatta told the boys as he addressed them at State House.
“When we saw Saturday happen then we saw ourselves on Sunday, some of us were not ready to believe it, but it was beyond doubt that it was a beautiful Sunday for all Kenyans. I thank these lads for the brilliant work they have done,” President Kenyatta added.
The team was accompanied by officials from the Kenya Rugby Union, ministry officials, sponsors and other dignitaries.