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The Kenya Rugby Union on Tuesday 27th April launched the Damu Pevu Teachers’ Training initiative that will have two World Rugby Trainers, Michael Otieno and George Ndemi together with the KRU Development Coordinator and World Rugby Educator Ronald Okoth travel to Kisumu, Embu and Nairobi on a mission to educate selected teachers from schools within this region.

On 29th April, Michael Otieno and Ronald Okoth will be in Kisumu for the first official training, where they’ll meet teachers from Bomet, Kisii, Kisumu, Kakamega, Bungoma, Transnzoia and Uasin Gishu counties.

The second training will take place in Embu on 5th and 6th May and will be conducted by George Ndemi and Ronald Okoth with teachers from Murang’a, Embu, Nyeri, Meru, Makueni, Mombasa and Taita Taveta while the 3rd training course will be held on 12th May in Nairobi targeting teachers from Nairobi, Kajiado and Nakuru.

KRU Development Coordinator Ronald Okoth said, “as an implementer of this initiative I am very happy because it is a milestone for the Development office. We are going to start with Western Kenya on 29th and 30th April where an estimated total of 16 coaches from seven counties will be attending. We’re looking forward to having a long term development pathway for our players countrywide,”

Speaking at the Launch, Damu Pevu Chairman Tom Odenyo added that this initiative has been planned for several years by the Damu Pevu team. It is intended to build upon the current Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association that has cemented its name in the Kenyan Sports circles. We’re very happy to have gotten the ball rolling on this initiative and we’re happy for this partnership with KRU. We appreciate the hard work put into this by both parties led by Damu Pevu’s Michael “Tank” Otieno and KRU’s Ronald Okoth.

Rugby Africa’s Regional Development Officer JohnBosco Muamba was present at the launch and he said that Rugby Africa is proud of the growth noted within the KRU set up when it comes to the Get into Rugby program. “Before the pandemic hit, Kenya was ranked second in Africa. This program is now taking a new shape; World Rugby has revised the strategy so that it aligns with its participation program. The emphasis is now on the progression from being an age grade participant to a National team player.”

There has been a challenge in getting developed players on the women’s teams due to the lack of girls’ rugby in schools. “When you look at the majority of the Kenyan Primary Schools, they’re mixed boys and girls and so the Damu Pevu Initiative will help us tackle this challenge. This talent will grow from Primary all the way to clubs and we will be able to monitor the progress of the players’ pathway and in the next 15-20 years, we will have strong senior sides for both men and women,” added KRU Director of Development.

In conclusion. KRU Chairman, Oduor Gangla thanked the Damu Pevu Committee and KRU’s Development Department for their hard work in ensuring this initiative kicks off. In 2019, the Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities was signed at the RFUEA Grounds. “To retain and be competitive globally, you have to train from a very young age and most of our players start playing rugby in their teenage years and that puts us at a competitive disadvantage. As a Union, we also want to ensure that rugby is a mass sport, available to everyone in this country so that we build on the popularity and success we’ve built in the history of KRU,”

The trained teachers’ will then receive a coaching curriculum which is scheduled to start when schools re-open on 29th May. The curriculum will run for eight weeks and will be supervised by the various Regional Development Officers.

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