A program to develop 500 professional young rugby players in Kenya in the next 3 years has been launched in Nairobi, during the Rugby Festival 2022,held at Hillcrest International School. The Rugby festival was organized by Kings Rugby Development Academy (KRDA) and was attended by Maro Itoje, England national rugby team player and Atlas Foundation Trustee.
The Rugby Festival 2022 saw 19 rugby teams drawn from various public schools and slums in Kenya compete and win awards. KRDA has trained all the coaches to World Rugby certifications status.The Foundation has developed the “Rugby In a Box” project, which will see the participating public schools and organized groups in low-income areas benefit from a World Rugby Certified coach and a 40-foot container that has a coach office, store, and 2 showers for boys and girls. The program will remove the financial burden of investing in rugby, which is beyond the financial ability of many schools serving children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Speaking during the prize-giving ceremony, Maro Itoje said “You will see some more of those projects for the rugby sport to grow in this country. For rugby to grow in the country and for Kenya to be a dominant force worldwide, it needs to happen in the schools.“Stuart McGreevy, the founder of Kings Rugby Development Academy said,”
The foundation was set up to bring hope, change, and transformation to the lives of the children in Kibera, where we have run programs since 2014.We aspire to reach the children where they are, play with their friends and get them to learn how to be a team.”The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Chairman Oduor Gangla noted that KRU is taking a very deliberate and conscious step towards supporting rugby academies like Kings Rugby mainly through training and development of the coaches. “At the end of the day, we must have the right coaches imparting skills on the young children. KRU has plans next year to reintroduce the Kenya schools program which will now be for under 18,” he added.
KRDA will partner with the Kenya Rugby Union and various rugby clubs in Kenya, to develop their young talent and also offer opportunities for the Kings Rugby under- privileged young rugby players to train with the various clubs and attend their matches.Kings Rugby targets to partner with corporate organizations, expand the beneficiaries of the rugby training, and contribute towards the wholesome development of children in Kenya, through rugby.