What you need to know:
- The sponsorship is part of NOC-K's strategy to support various disciplines on their pathway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has on Wednesday boosted the national men’s sevens rugby team, Shujaa, to the tune of Sh1.5 million at the RFUEA grounds as they prepare for the Africa Men's Sevens-cum-Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The sponsorship is part of NOC-K's strategy to support various disciplines on their pathway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Shujaa becomes the third team sport to receive this kind of support after the women’s hockey team, Tausi, and the women's volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, who recently emerged African champions in Cameroon.
Shujaa, who are scheduled to leave the country on Thursday for Zimbabwe, had a two-week training camp at St. Andrew's Turi in Nakuru County after which they moved to Nairobi and have upped their training at the RFUEA grounds to finalise their preparations.
Speaking during the cheque handing over, NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku said: "We have sat down as a board and evaluated and seen that our men’s rugby team is one of the team sports with high prospects of making it to Paris 2024. As they begin their campaign this weekend, we want to affirm our support to them through this qualification period."
Co-captain Vincent Onyala expressed confidence in the team’s ability to make it to the Summer Games.
“We have had very good training sessions and the boys are in a good mood and high spirits. Therefore, I believe we will be in Paris come next year,” said Onyala, who was out for large periods last season due to injury.
Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Sasha Mutai thanked NOC-K for the boost to the team as they look to get a ticket to their third successive Olympic Games after competing in 2016 Rio Games and 2020 Tokyo Games.
“We are in a transition period and we are therefore taking and welcoming all the support we can get. I want to thank NOC-K for continued support especially during this time when we are on a hunt for the Paris 2024 ticket,” said Onyala.