Triumphant Shujaa treated to grand reception back home after Sevens Series promotion

4th June 2024

The Kenya 7s beat Germany in the crunch promotion/relegation playoff match to secure their ticket.

Shujaa. PHOTO| SportPesa
Shujaa. PHOTO| SportPesa
  • Shujaa were relegated from the World Rugby Sevens Series in May 2023.
  • They managed to get immediate promotion at their first time of asking.
  • Vincent Onyala. Chrisant Ojwang. John Okoth. George Ooro and Kevin Wekesa scored the important tries over Germany.

The men’s national rugby 7s side, Shujaa, was ushered back home in style following their glorious return to the World Rugby Sevens Series (now known as SVNS Series) after they beat Germany 33-15 in the crunch promotion/relegation playoff match to book their ticket for the 2025 season.

The glamorous reception was the culmination of a fulfilling year after the team lost its core status for the first time in 19 years following defeat against Canada in May 2023, a result that confirmed their relegation.

Since that time, the Kevin Wambua-coached side qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics after stunning African heavyweights South Africa in the Rugby Africa 7s Cup final, won the 2023 Safari 7s title before clinching their ticket back to the Series at the very first time of asking in Madrid, Spain.

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Song and dance greeted the players and the technical bench after touching down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where they were welcomed by Eng Peter Tum, Principal Secretary State Department for Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports & Arts who promised a financial bonus for the team.

“They (Shujaa) went, they saw and they conquered. For the first time in over 8 years, we have seen a coherent team and one that is capable of going even higher. It is in our policy that every time a team does very well, there is a financial bonus for them and we are going to do that,” he said.

Wambua, who masterminded Shujaa’s return back to the topflight, gave all the praise to the team for executing the plan he had as he revealed what worked for Shujaa.

"All the credit goes to the players because they achieved this feat. We made sure they were comfortable and had a solid environment with a vision and a plan to perform.

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What worked for us was the brotherhood, taking care of each other on and off the team and making each other accountable which worked for us and thanks to everyone who supported us," he remarked.

Co-captain Vincent Onyala expressed his gratitude to leading online gaming firm SportPesa who were the only sponsors that stood with the team when they were relegated.

“We are very grateful to SportPesa who have chosen to continue the journey with us despite all our hiccups. They have been faithful to us and above all we give thanks for the heart they had in walking with us,” he said.

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Willis Ojwang’, SportPesa’s Public Relations and Advertising Manager reiterated the company’s commitment to the team as he promised a new contract after returning to being a core side.

“At SportPesa, we are made of champions and Shujaa has just exemplified that. We are reaffirming our commitment to walk together with the boys and we will go back to the sponsorship model that we had and we will restructure that to help the team as a core side,” he said.

Shortly after the welcome reception, the team was taken on a drive to various parts in Nairobi to celebrate the achievement as they passed through Nyayo Estate, Baraka, Jacaranda, Donholm, Jogoo Road, Central Business District, Sports Ministry Offices, SportPesa Office before making their way to the Kenya Rugby Union headquarters in Ngong Road.

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