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Deaths of Kenyan Rugby Players Cause for Worry

November 25, 2017

For the last couple of months, rugby, a sport which has elevated Kenya to the world map, especially in the Sevens category, has lately been in the news for all the wrong reasons over deaths of young, fast-rising players and which could practically have been avoided.

The latest incident in which Kenya’s Simbas player Mike Okombe was reportedly bludgeoned to death by a friend of his is a call for action to be taken. Something needs to be done pretty soon considering that it is not the first time for such gory incidents to happen in the local rugby scene.

But these sad state of affairs which have bedeviled rugby are not only centered on murders but also infield injuries and road accidents, and this is where the Kenya Rugby Union and the country’s law enforcement comes in to curb the trend.

For a lengthy time, Kenyan rugby has been associated with the infamy of being a booze sport in the sense that fans have the notoriety of partaking alcohol during matches which is a trend copied by players some of who drive themselves home in an inebriated state thus being exposed to accidents.

Granted, road accidents are a significant killer of Kenyan sportsmen and it, therefore, requires police to be vigilant on drunk-driving and charge the culprits to serve as a deterrent.

In the same breathe, KRU is culpable of failure to take measures on threatening injuries on the rugby players despite the fact that this is a high-impact collision sport, in which players have to exert extreme force to acquire and maintain possession of the ball.

That Injuries are frequent in rugby goes without saying which is why KRU should lead from the front in educating coaching on what needs to be done if a player picks an injury to avoid future complications.

Regular re-accreditation and education should be undertaken by coaches to make sure their knowledge is up to date and only this way they will be able to learn when there are dangers of complications arising from injuries.

In the meantime, the National Super League in football ends this weekend, and we wish to take this opportunity to wish the
players an injury-free playing time with their respective teams.

Originally Posted on People Daily

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