Ladies’ League Set For April
The long over due Kenya women’s league is set to start in the coming month, albeit with only three participating teams.
The league that will be dubbed the ‘Aberdeen Circuit’, in memory of former Kenya Lionesses Captain Aberdeen Shikoyi. A lady who did so much for women’s rugby in this country, despite all the challenges she was faced with.
Mwamba Ladies Head Coach and the league’s project leader Mary ‘Mungiks’ Otieno, said that plans to start off the league were developed over a year ago, but lack of financial and moral support has seen the project put on hold severally.
“So far three senior teams have confirmed their participation. The union has come in to support the league by providing water, meals and match officials, there are also grants for this particular purpose. We would love to have every team in the Kenya cup providing a ladies team, to help grow the pool of ladies playing the game.” Ms Otieno said.
Kulabu Ladies, KCB Ladies and Kenya Harlequins Queens are the three sides that have confirmed their participation for the first league matches on April 12th 2015, at the KRFUEA Grounds from 9 am.
“The tournament will be played in a round robin format, with the team with the most wins taking the cup home. Each side will field a team of 10, as the clubs are yet to get the numbers to provide 15 A-side squads.”
“The three sides have had support from their clubs and have taken part in various tournaments including Christies7’s, Kabeberi 7’s and the Impala Floodlights 2014. The Nakuru Ladies senior side and Comras Ladies are yet to confirm, but having them will draw in more fans and more action on the day.” She added.
MWAMBA (KULABU) LADIES
This first ever ladies team in Kenya, it has for many years been the pool in which Women are selected to play for the National Sides. Started in 1998, the side collapsed after it was taken in as the National Side.
It has revived itself as a foundation for ladies interested in playing rugby. Easy accessibility to the training grounds at the Railways Club has managed to draw in a good number of players to participate in upcoming tournaments and the league.
Mwamba managed to support the ladies side to victory at the 10-Aside Floodlights Tournament 2014. The squad is currently coached by Mary ‘Mungiks’ Otieno, Philip Wesonga and Kevin ‘Bonke’ Atandi.
Led by Kenya International Philadelphia Orlando, the KCB side has the most experienced players in the league. With the likes of Kenya Lionesses Janet Okello, Janet Midecha and Millicent Opalla, they are the favourites for the title on the 12th.
The team was 1st runners up at last years Christies 7’s after beating the Kulabu ladies in the Semi Final. The squad is also coached by KCB Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Shamia.
KENYA HARLEQUINS QUEENS
The squad plays host to Irene ‘the stepper ‘Otieno, apart from being a player in the team she is also the assistant coach, playing second fiddle to their Head Coach, Kenya Lionesses Scrum Half Mary Musieka.
The team is looking to make a statement in the league, with many upcoming players substituting the more experienced players in the squad. The support from the club has allowed the ladies to train extensively with the help of Senior Men players like Patrice Agunda and Quins Rugby Vet Aremas. The team has managed to participate in various games, but is yet to get their name on a cup.
More on the teams as we approach the date, in the meantime mark your calendars and come out let us support women rugby.