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At 25 years old, Kevin Wambugu, a Data Engineer by profession, has swiftly risen through the ranks of rugby refereeing, showcasing a passion and dedication to the sport that is truly commendable.

Kevin’s journey into the world of rugby began in 2015 when he started playing the sport at Mang’u High School. However, it wasn’t long before his interest shifted towards officiating.

Influenced by the guidance of John Bosco Muamba, a respected referee and mentor, Kevin found himself drawn to the intricacies of officiating. “I love the sport, I am obsessed with it, and officiating to me was my way of being actively involved and reaching the pinnacle,” Kevin shared in a conversation with Kenya Rugby.

After completing his high school education in 2017, Kevin wasted no time in pursuing his passion for officiating. He obtained his level 1 certification later that year and embarked on his officiating journey. From his first tournament at Thika High School to age-grade competitions, high school matches, and club fixtures, Kevin quickly gained experience and confidence in his role as a match official.

The year 2022 marked a significant milestone in Kevin’s career. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions, he remained steadfast in his pursuit of excellence. Kevin attained his Level 2 certification and officiated in various prestigious events, including the National 7s Circuit and Kenya Cup matches. His debut on the international stage during the Barthes Trophy 2023 and World Rugby U20 Trophy 2023 further underscored his growing reputation as a competent match official.

Reflecting on the recently concluded season, Kevin expressed gratitude for the opportunities that came his way. In a span of five years, he officiated in 12 matches, each presenting its own set of challenges and learning opportunities.

Kevin emphasized the importance of continuous self-improvement and resilience in the demanding field of officiating. “Refereeing is a path that requires dedication to constant self-improvement and the resilience to confront the challenges inherent in our roles,” he remarked.

Looking ahead, Kevin harbors ambitious dreams of becoming a test referee and officiating in top-tier tournaments worldwide. His impressive performances, including officiating a Kenya Cup semi-final in only his second season and just weeks after turning 25, attest to his potential and determination. “These high-stakes contests, with their electrifying atmospheres and intense competition, have tested my abilities like never before,” Kevin shared, highlighting the thrill and satisfaction that come with officiating at the highest level.

As Kevin  continues to carve his path in rugby officiating, his journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring match officials everywhere. With his talent, dedication, and unwavering passion for the sport, Kevin is undoubtedly a rising star to watch out for in the world of rugby officiating.

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