Injera: How Singapore 7s win inspired a whole generation

Kenya's team celebrate with the trophy after defeating Fiji in the cup final at the Singapore Sevens rugby tournament on April 17, 2016.

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Injera along with Andrew Amonde, Willy Ambaka, Oscar Ouma and Oscar Dennis will play for SFX 10 (Cape Town) in the inaugural World Tens Series slated for October 24 to November 7 in Bermuda.
  • Other franchises set to compete in Bermuda are Asia Pacific Dragons (Singapore), Phoenix (Middle East), London Royals (London), Miami Sun (Florida), Rhinos (Southern California) and Ohio Aviators (Columbus). The eighth franchise, South America, has withdrawn due to the coronavirus pandemic

Kenya Sevens ace Collins Injera has revealed how success at the 2016 Singapore Sevens inspired a 'whole generation' back home.

Shujaa defeated the highly fancied Fiji 30-7 in the Main Cup final for their first ever Series leg win and the speedster revealed the victory didn't just impact him and his team, but the entire nation of Kenya.

Speaking to South African counterpart Bryan Habimana via Zoom from Bermuda on Wednesday, Injera termed the win against Fiji as historic.

France's Virimi Vakatawa (bottom) tackles Kenya's Collins Injera (top) during their cup quarter-final match at the Singapore Sevens rugby tournament on April 17, 2016.

Photo credit: File | AFP

“I think winning that Singapore leg in 2016 was a big moment for us as a team, and for the nation as well, and also for the coming generation in Kenya that is playing rugby.

“And it did a lot of great things for the country. Right now, rugby is being played all the way down to the primary school level, and that is something that wasn't there before. It just opened doors and inspired a whole generation, a whole nation, and it brought everyone together," he said on Wednesday.

World Tens Series

Injera along with Andrew Amonde, Willy Ambaka, Oscar Ouma and Oscar Dennis will play for SFX 10 (Cape Town) in the inaugural World Tens Series slated for October 24 to November 7 in Bermuda.

Other franchises set to compete in Bermuda are Asia Pacific Dragons (Singapore), Phoenix (Middle East), London Royals (London), Miami Sun (Florida), Rhinos (Southern California) and Ohio Aviators (Columbus). The eighth franchise, South America, has withdrawn due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He expressed optimism that action will return to stadiums soon and urged rugby fans to be patient.

Kenya's team celebrate with the trophy after defeating Fiji in the cup final at the Singapore Sevens rugby tournament on April 17, 2016. AFP PHOTO | ROSLAN RAHMAN

The government has not permitted rugby to resume. The sport has been categorized as “high risk” by the Sports Ministry.

Top try scorer

“We are living in unprecedented times. Players are looking forward to playing again. Our fans are also eager to be back in stadiums. Rugby will be back, but for now, let’s keep safe. Let’s follow the measures put in place to manage covid-19,” said Injera, who is ranked second behind Englishman Dan Norton on the list of top try scorers in the World Rugby Sevens Series with 279 since his debut in Dubai Sevens 2006.

“It’s a big blow to fans, sportsmen and sportswomen that stadiums are still closed. Coronavirus has also affected how we train and how we prepare for games,” said the winger, who celebrated his 34th birthday on October 18.

Injera emerged the top try scorer in the 2008-2009 World Rugby Sevens Series (formerly IRB Sevens) with 42 tries.

Kenya Sevens speedstar Collins Injera (left) evades a tackled from Davis Nyaundi during their training session at the RFUEA grounds on February 20, 2020 ahead of the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2019/2020 World Sevens World Series in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

In that same year, Injera was nominated for the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award. He also won the 2009 Kenyan Sportsman of the Year at the Soya gala.

Along with his elder brother, Humphrey Kayange, Injera was decorated with the Order of Grand Warrior of Kenya by then President Mwai Kibaki for their performances in the 2008–2009 IRB Sevens World Series.

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