By Dianne Patience,
Rugby is a global sport known for its characteristic strong and heavily built players who run around with an oval shaped ball while the opponent players pull each other down trying to score. The goal is for seven players on each side to score as many points as possible within the shortest time, seven minutes. Hence the name rugby sevens. The second variation is the fifteens, fifteen players playing 40 minutes each.
The JKUAT Rugby team is known as the JKUAT Cougars named after a fearless wild cougar animal. Perhaps as evidence to this animal’s character, the team draws inspiration from the Good Book, precisely Philippians 4:13. Under the leadership of Nyabionge Boniface as the team manager and coaches Moses Muiruri and Smith Muhonja, the team has had tremendous success in the pitch from the tournaments they have participated in. The team has won the Central Nationwide League twice back-to-back and were scheduled to play championship qualifier matches when the pandemic struck forcing them to be put on hold. With players such as Oketch Bramwel (Ofaro) and captains Kilwake Bramwel and Eugins Asava, the team is confident of winning the championship qualifier matches when rugby action resumes in the country.
With the support of the Sports Director Dr. Waweru and the sports department at the university, the team has managed to maneuver some of its challenges such as shortage of adequate facilities such as cones and tackle balls, and gone to produce some of the most formidable names in the game both locally and internationally. Oscar Ouma, Max Theuri, Edwin Achayo, Wayodi Victor, Teajay, Mike Barasa Misango Peter, and Emmanuel Silungi are some of the names that have come from the Cougars pitch, otherwise known as the Graveyard. The players meet for training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and for fun on Fridays to usher in the weekend.
Plans are ongoing to set up a women’s rugby team. Having a lady’s team will help nature the talents of ladies who hopefully will follow the footsteps of their counterparts. All interested ladies are welcome to join the beautiful game, which also accommodates persons with disability in the form of wheelchair rugby. This explains the Cougars tagline of a team built on the foundations of brotherhood and sportsmanship. Rugby accommodates all.