Shujaa receive grand welcome after promotion back to World Series

Shujaa receive grand welcome after promotion back to World Series

Joel Omotto 18:24 - 04.06.2024

Kenya Sevens players got a great reception after returning to the country following their gallant performance that earned them a spot back to the World Series.

Kenya Sevens players received a heroic welcome on their return to the country following their promotion back to the World Series.

Shujaa regained their core status after a 33-15 victory against Germany in the winner take-all relegation-promotion playoff in Madrid last weekend, having suffered relegation for the first time last year.

That earned them praise and admiration across the world given they are one of the most popular teams on the globe and the government pulled all stops to ensure they were welcomed back well.

Shujaa were received in style at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with Sports PS Peter Tum leading the way after which their convoy snaked through various estates in Nairobi’s Eastlands before heading to the Central Business District.

Their convoy went through Nyayo Estate, Baraka, Jacaranda, Donholm, before linking up on Jogoo Road and headed to the CBD. The players, who were on an open track, waved and interacted with their fans before heading to Kenya Rugby Union’s offices on Ngong Road.

“When they were relegated, we sat as a ministry to try and sort out what was the problem. The first one was to support them in training, the second one they had governance issues which they sorted fast and then we said we will work with them as government and it was a game changer,” said Tum.

“It is in our policy that every time a team does well, we give them a financial reward and that is why they are very happy,” he added.

Kenya had suffered relegation last year when they lost in the playoff match to lose their core status for the first time in 19 years.

They, however, started plotting their way back in September when they shocked fancied South Africa to win the Africa Sevens in Zimbabwe and earn an Olympics ticket.

Kevin Wambua’s men would go on to win the Safari Sevens crown in Nairobi and this boosted their morale ahead of the 2024 Challenger Series which they needed to finish in the top four to be in contention for the promotion-relegation playoff.

They did just that, starting the series with cup victory in Dubai, followed by third place in Montevideo and managed fifth in Munich to earn a place in the playoff. At the playoff, they won two of their three group matches before the must-win match with Germany.

Following their return to the World Series, Wambua’s men will now turn their focus on the Paris Olympics that start in under two months.

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