After Portugal’s thrashing in the hands of Shujaaz fifteens, they have now risen to the 29th position in the world, which is the highest that Kenya rugby in general has ever achieved. As much as the 7’s team took a beating in the hands of the rugby leaders in the London, the fifteens has saved Kenya some blushes.
Now this is enough to send the country to jubilation which usually happens when one part of the country’s sports docket impresses the world. However, this brings me to the thought that after what football and cricket has put Kenya through internationally, hope is not all lost for Kenya as a sport nation.
Kenya first bust into the global community with the pros of running putting the country on the global microscope, the athletes have never looked back and still continue breaking records and winning big, winning most of the long distance races. Even volleyball has made its mark in Africa as they have challenged most of the ‘dominant’ African countries. They hold the African title at the moment as they start the season aiming to retain it.
Why I say Rugby has saved Kenyan sports is due to sports like football who continue to embarrass in the regional, continental and international levels (well the few times they have been there) and cricket which holds the most foreign head committee I have ever seen in any Kenyan team (most of them being Indian of course) but they still cannot see past any country at the moment. This two should be very dominant at the moment seeing that swimming is no longer in view as the two Kenyans have not really been seen, as just a few universities have been able to compete in the African competitions, with the indoors community also nowhere to be seen.
It’s exceptional that rugby is making its presence in the world known but Kenya needs to sort the in house businesses first before they can go out to the globe. Sports management is the biggest cause of this with the likes of Nyamweya ‘Kenyas blatter’ under serious scrutiny. Sports has to be taken seriously straight from its roots, if we are going to make more headlines in the global world. Athletics is helping with this in building of stadiums such as the Kipchoge Keino in Eldoret for young runners and the legends standing up to corrupt leaders who want to turn it to a school apparently. The world will never see our own issues but if we continue to stand on two sports only, then the country will have a hard time maintaining this status and just like swimming, the sports department will drown.
By Humphrey M Ngugi