Kenya to benefit from World Rugby Olympic fund

Kenya will be eligible to apply for a piece of the Sh270 million which World Rugby has said will be allocated among rugby sevens nations that have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

The funds are meant to help teams cope with further disruptions to the global sevens calendar due to the novel coronavirus.

Kenya qualified for the Olympics last year by virtue of winning the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens Championship, defeating Uganda in the final in Johannesburg.

World Rugby also announced it had called off the Sydney and Hamilton rounds of the World Sevens Series scheduled for January “due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Organisers now hope to kick off the series in Hong Kong and Singapore in April.

With the global championship a key plank in Olympic preparations, World Rugby said it would make “a dedicated initial investment of $2.5 million” to support qualified nations.

“Each union that has qualified … will be able to apply to World Rugby for funding which can be directed towards rugby sevens squad training camps, competition support, technical and sports science and medical programmes,” it said in a statement.

The Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the 2020/21 series, provisionally scheduled for November and December, were called off last month.

World Rugby said it was working to confirm dates for the Olympic repechage event in the first half of 2021, where the final two women’s nations and one men’s nation to qualify for Tokyo will be decided.

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