Rugby Rugby

Kenya aims for core status, Impala floodlit launched


NAIROBI, Kenya, September 26- Kenya have set themselves the modest target of retaining core status in the IRB World Sevens Series during the 2012/2013 season that kicks-off with the Gold Coast 7s in Australia.

The country was at risk of losing the cream billing last season as they slumped to 12th with 40 points but with new coach Mike Friday at the helm, Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) boss, Mwangi Muthee, believes the core status will be sustained.

Muthee added he was impressed with the progress the former England national team tactician had achieved with the local side particularly after he led the Morans and Shujaa national sides into second and third place at the weekend Safaricom 7s tournament.

“I’m satisfied with the way the young team is developing under the tutelage of Friday, but I must make it clear to Kenyans that the team is not there yet, we still have a lot to do.

“Our biggest priority in the next World Series season is for the country to remain in the series as a core team,” Muthee said on Wednesday.

On the Safaricom 7s, the chairman assured the audit report of the tournament proceeds will be released to the public next month once the organising committee is through with its work in an effort to avoid the controversy over the event’s finances that arose last year.

“The committee will sit and we will have the audited accounts presented to the union, we are transparent and once they are done we will publish them.

“We have an audit firm of repute which works with us and we must sure that we conform to the international code of accountability,” he assured.

Muthee was speaking after the launch of the 31st edition of the Impala Rugby floodlight tournament that will kick off on October 6 to run for the three weekends until October 20.

The annual tournament which began in 1982 has attracted 24 teams from local clubs, universities and secondary schools in the event played under floodlights with a Sh200,000 top prize for the winners.

The tournament draw will be released on Friday for the event Mean Machine are the defending champions.

“The event has strived to have a legacy and reinforce the belief that success can only be built by applying the highest professional standards in how it operates,” said Odour Gangla, the hosting club chairman.

Service provider Airtel Kenya presented a Sh4m sponsorship that will go into logistics of that includes installation of an improved lighting system and enhancement of security.

The organisers expect to attract about 15,000 rugby enthusiasts over its three weekends duration that will also be streamed live through the club’s website.