NAIROBI, October 2 – Saturday’s Grand Slam match between Harlequins and Nakuru RFC received a Sh1 million sponsorship package from Posta Pay on Thursday.,
Posta Pay Head of Marketing and Customer Service Jane Wasilwa Mutuha hailed the annual event that pits two teams that have gained supremacy in Kenya’s flagship rugby tournaments.
“Rugby sport is viewed as a new, fast growing pastime activity. To add to its appeal, the Kenya seven and 15 a-side teams have distinguished themselves internationally and locally, hence the reason that Posta Pay would like to be associated with rugby by a Sh1 million sponsorship,” said Ms Wasilwa.
She stated that the corporate is striving for opportunities that continue to support and develop the rugby teams to excel in the sport, as well as epitomise good sportsmanship in the country.
“The Grand Slam is an annual Kenyan rugby showcase that brings together the best talent in the country so we look forward to a very a competitive game. Therefore we want to share the success with the winners,” said the manager.
Sh200,000 will be up for grabs when the match makes its comeback at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds after a 16-year hiatus.
“It’s a Sh200,000 winner take away for the Grand Slam winner. And assuming that it goes in favour of Nakuru after winning Sh250,000 in the Zain sponsored one, then you add the Sh200,000, they will be almost half a million richer than when they started the league,” said Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) Chairman Richard Omwela.
The KRFU chairman urged other companies to come on board, add value and sponsor the sport so that it can thrive to higher standards from the leagues, knockout tournaments and international events.
“As KRFU we are delighted with such sponsorships because for the first time in many years we haven’t had a sponsor for the league, so a partnership with other associations will spread the game to highest level as possible,” noted Mr Omwela.
Meanwhile, Kenya will become the first African country to host the World 15 a-side International Rugby Board (IRB) Junior Rugby Championships in April next year.
“The IRB federation visited countries around the world but they gave us an opportunity to grow rugby after noting that Kenya has good structures to host international tournaments,” Mr Omwela explained.
At the same time, KRFU has filed an appeal to the IRB in response to the seeding system that was employed in the Africa Zone qualifiers for the women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens.
“They split the teams into two groups instead of playing one and two, one and two at the end of the preliminaries, but decided to reseed the teams again whereby instead of Kenya playing Tunisia, they play against South Africa. So we believe it was a flawed process,” said union chairman.
However ,the sevens teams have started training for the men’s World Cup qualifiers in Tunisia and the opening leg of the IRB Sevens Series in Dubai where Kenya is in Pool B with South Africa, Scotland and the Arabian Gulf.