Felix “Mwalimu” Oloo was awarded the 2016 Safaricom SOYA Community Coach of The Year Award on Thursday 19 January 2017 for his services in developing rugby from the grassroots. He shares his story with us.
“I introduced mini rugby to a negative reception at Newlife International in Nakuru in 2009. My headteacher asked me why I introduced the game, and I responded by saying it is the only game which teaches character, discipline, honesty and intergrity.She gave me the go ahead and I started with 73 boys and 1 ball. I would later approach Nakuru RFC to ask if the boys would be curtain raise and serve as ball boys during their matches and they responded postively. I brought the boys to the rugby club and we agreed training at the rugby club every Sunday, ” he says.
Help from Erick Situma
“The late Erick Situma who served as Nakuru coach between 2011-2013 became interested in my project and selected the U14 team to participate in the annual Touraid Festival in England in 2013. This tour was more than rugby as in entailed experiencing different culture and improving emotional intelligence.The effect of this tour saw 20 primary schools in Nakuru embrace rugby. They have since played an u15 tournament in France. In 2013, Nakuru won all major age grade tournaments- Safari 7s, Impala floodlits, Community Rugby Association, Prinsloo and Great Rift 10s. We have also since 2015 run a school league within Nakuru and the surrounding regions.”
A bulk of the players, approximately 80% of the players who were in the Mini rugby programme, started another club in Nakuru( Menengai Oilers) coached by former Kenya Sevens vice–captain Gibson Weru and Nick Lang’o.We have also seen Vivian Akumu and Grace Adhiambo getting call ups to the Kenya Lioness at 17 and 18years respectively while Monate Akuei and Ignatius Gichure have broken into the core squad at former Kenya Cup champions Top Fry Nakuru.”
His parting shot
“It has never been about me BUT about the children. Currently we have 345 children playing rugby in Nakuru Town and I’ve been able to see rugby grow in Bahati, Njoro Naivasha and Rongai Sub counties. I continue to serve the game and pride myself in its growth as well as the impact it has on the players both on and off the pitch.”