NAIROBI, October 16 – Close to Sh130 million will be required to organise next year’s International Rugby Board (IRB) World Junior Trophy slated for Nairobi from April 21-May 3.,
Sh78 million will be provided by the IRB, while the Kenya Rugby Football Union will foot the remaining Sh51 million.
IRB tournament manager Philippe Bourdarias said on Thursday that the tournament would help rugby’s governing body develop the game globally.
“This is a very important tournament for the IRB, with the Junior Trophy the most important because it involves some of the best teams in the world,” said Mr Bourdarias.
“When we gave the tournament to the Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) we made it clear that it will be a good opportunity for them and also a massive challenge, because the IRB has very strict guidelines for global tournaments but I’m sure the hosts will deliver,” he added.
Bourdarias stated that the tournament will also seek to involve the Kenyan rugby community and has asked the KRFU to develop a legacy plan.
“This legacy plan will consist of many activities involving the teams and will compose of workshops where the players will visit local schools and clubs, because it’s very important that rugby in this country benefits from the tournament,” said Mr Bourdarias.
Eight teams including hosts Kenya will be taking part in the age-grade tournament that will feature Under 20 players.
Namibia, United States, Papua New Guinea, Cayman Islands, Romania and two yet to be confirmed countries will in Nairobi for the tourney.
KRFU general manager Auka Gacheo said that an eleven-member local organising committee has been constituted to facilitate the competition.
“This is a tournament of a huge scale. We are talking about flying in seven teams, accommodating them for 17 days and upgrading some of our facilities,” said the general manager.
Mr Gacheo mentioned that they have received a positive response from the Ministry of Sport in regards to the running of the tourney.
“We had a meeting with the Secretary of Sport (Daniel Maanzo) and going by his word he said that the Ministry will do its bit because it’s an event not just for Kenyan rugby but for the entire country,” he said.
KRFU Development Manager Fred Ollows said that the union has put in place a programme to ensure that the national team will be prepared both physically and mentally for the tournament.
“At this moment we are developing a conditioning programme for the team and as a union we will make sure the national team plays its role in the tournament.”
Impala Club chairman Peter Nduati has been appointed tournament manager and will be assisted by a team of notable former and local players.
Other committee members include Paul ‘Pablo’ Murunga (Media and Communications), Dr. Mirigwi Kinagwi (Medical), Sally Okudo (Transportation), Daudi Were (Information Technology), Fred Ollows, Charles Cardovillis (Legacy), Lisa Kombo (Volunteers) Eric Situma, Allan Hicks (Venues), Mike Mwanja (Ticketing) and Sadik Makii (Security).