Title sponsors Bamburi Cement Ltd has today announced a Ksh20 million sponsorship for the 2014 Bamburi Rugby Super Series. Speaking shortly after handing over the sponsorship cheque to Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), Hussein Mansi, the Bamburi Cement Managing Director, said the Bamburi Rugby Super Series has been integral in nurturing the elite fifteen’s rugby team in Kenya.
“It is no secret that the tournament has played a pivotal role in the emergence of the Kenyan national team as African champions. It also partly as a result of The Bamburi Rugby Super Series, that the Kenya fifteen’s team has won the Africa Cup twice,” he said.
This year’s sponsorship has increased by Ksh6.5 million from last year’s when the rugby union received a sponsorship of Ksh13.5 million from Bamburi Cement. Part of the additional sponsorship will go towards diversifying the playing field of rugby in Kenya by incorporating regional players as well as rebranding the kit and promoting the tournament.
Ms. Susan Maingi, the Bamburi Cement Ltd Head of Corporate Affairs said the rationale for supporting the Bamburi Rugby Super Series has always been talent development; in line with the company’s values of education and sustainable development.
To date, Ms Maingi noted that the rugby series has been linked to the positive growth of the National Fifteen's team in Kenya, citing players in the National Fifteen's team such as Fabian Olando, Leonard Mugaisa, Joshua Chisanga, Wilson K'Opondo (Captain), Collins Injera and Biko Adema.
Acknowledging the sponsorship from Bamburi Cement, KRU Chairman, Mwangi Muthee outlined the union’s dedication to the improvement of Rugby standards in Kenya. “Our country is at the threshold of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup and it is through tournaments such as this that we will achieve our desired aim.
We thank Bamburi Cement Ltd for supporting this vibrant sport as we continue to grow the playing field for this tournament regionally,” said Mr Muthee. This year’s premier fifteens tournament will comprised four franchises in Kenya and two in Uganda. The sport of rugby is taking significant strides with the Kenya 7s team on the verge of qualifying for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“Growing the tournament to include women players continues to be an aim of KRU” said Mr Muthee. He also outlined the importance of upholding high performance standards by maintaining consistency from participating teams to attract teams from all over the continent to take part.
The 2014 tournament kicks off on 26th of April in Kampala and will run for five weekends consecutively, with the final taking place at the Kenya Rugby Union grounds on the 7th of June in Nairobi. Eight teams will compete for the title of champion, six from Kenya and two from Uganda.
This year’s tournament will see five match days being progressively held in five different towns/ cities in Kenya and Uganda; Kampala on 26th April, Kakamega 2nd May, Nakuru 17th May, Machakos 24th May and Nairobi on 7th June.
One of this year’s highlights will be the Bamburi Rugby Super Series celebrating Fifteen's rugby in Kenya by hosting a test match in the finals between Kenya and Western Province.