National Hidden Talents Academy Secondary School (NHTAS) popularly known as Hidden Talent Academy, made it a double by defending the Nairobi Region Girls U19 7s title which they won last year, in the just concluded K.R.U Nairobi girls regional U19, 7s held at St Mary’s school on the 18th of May 2019 alongside the Black Rock competition.
NHTAS Coached by Waweru Mwangi who is a Level 1 WR Accredited Coach have now bagged three trophies in their cabinet: 2018 Nairobi Regional Girls U19 7s Championship, Safari 7s U19 Girl’s Championship and 2019 Nairobi Regionals U19 7s Girls’ Championship. Naomi Kaikai, Captain NHTAS bagged the top try scorer (8) and the most Valuable Player 2019 accolades.
”It doesn’t come as a surprise that NHTAS are starting to show case their hidden talent. For the past 2 years they have not advanced passed the group stage of the girl’s competition.”
‘‘It has taken us some time, we have learnt a lot and our never giving up attitude has seen as emerge as Regional Champions twice. For our girls, sports is another avenue to show case what they can do,’’ said Waweru Mwangi Coach NHTAS.
Little is known about NHTAS and their girl’s rugby program in spite of the school producing some big names at the National level.
NHTAS is a mixed day & boarding school situated in Riruta Location in Dagoretti Constituency, Nairobi County. It is a registered community based organization that provides free non-formal Primary and Secondary Education to children affected social economic difficulties.
Some of the Kenya Lioness both 7s & 15s players who are products of NHTAS include Linet Moraa (who is also an Olympian), Priscah Nyerere and Monicah Mweni, all of whom have represented the Country both Locally and Internationally.
The Nairobi Girl’s regional U19, 7s festival had four pools as below:
POOL A: National hidden talent academy, Moonlight Centre High School, Hoywik Secondary School, Olympic High School
POOL B: Maono Educational Center, Starehe Girls Centre, Orbit Secondary School, Rift Valley Academy
POOL C: Huruma Girl’s High School, New Langata High School, Silver Spring Secondary School, Raila Educational Center
POOL D: St Teresa’s Girls Secondary School, St. Christine secondary school, St. Aloysius secondary school.
The tournament format was that teams that topped their pool would go straight to the semis while the rest would go to the ranking playoffs. With the Pool stage action complete, the top team in each pool were set to clash in the semis: NHTAS topped pool A, Maono Educational Centre topped pool B, Huruma girl’s high topped pool C while St. Teresa Girl’s topped pool D
The table was now set for entertaining semifinals pitting NHTAS who were in the process of defending their title against Huruma girl’s high school who had never been in the finals, in the first semi. Maono Educational Centre who have played in all the finals so far against St Teresa girl’s secondary school who had never made it past the pool stage met in the second semifinal.
SEMI 1: NHTAS 28-7 Huruma
NHTAS had no mercy on their opponent Huruma. They were ruthless and clinical in both attack and defense. Huruma stood no chance as NHTAS landed 4 converted tries against them and conceded one from their star player Phoebe Akinyi which was not enough to take them to the finals. NHTAS Captain Naomi Kaikai on the other side pulled a hat trick while her compatriot Joyce Mwigai scored one try to take them to the finals.
SEMI 2: Maono 00 -28 St. Teresa
Spirited display by 2018 M.V.P Sharon Auma Captain of Maono Educational Center didn’t bear fruits as a well organised St Teresa defense and a stellar performance from their captain Marion Atieno ensured the Saints progressed to the finals. Marion Atieno and Refa Achando both scored a try each as their teammate Faith Achieng landed a brace.
A walkover was given in favour of Huruma girl’s high school as Maono Educational Centre were too devastated from their semifinals loss to take to the pitch. It should be noted that Maono is the only girls school team in Nairobi region that has consistently played in the finals since 2015, a fit not achieved by any other school in the region so far.
FINALS: NHTAS 14-0 ST. Teresa
It was a final of the captains, as they both brought their A game and were literally the carriers of their respective teams. Marion Atieno of St. Teresa was the battering ram of the team ensuring her opponents had a sore shoulder whenever they had an encounter with her, this however didn’t register points on the score board as her opposite on the other side Naomi kaikai of National Hidden Talents Academy Secondary School, scored twice to ensure her team retained the title. The pacy winger was on form for her team, outclassing her marker twice to salvage the 14-0 victory.
National Hidden Talent Academy Secondary School and St. Teresa Girl’s Secondary School will represent Nairobi Region at the Nationals to be held later in the year.