Shamas Rugby, Tatu City send girls’ youth teams to Uganda

The Shamas Rugby Foundation and Tatu City have selected 20 under-15 and under-18 girls to play in the Connect to Africa tournament in Jinja, Uganda, this weekend.

This will be the first international play for the girls, who are also supported by Scroll and Priest.

The three-day tournament — which runs from Saturday to Monday — has attracted teams from the all over Africa and is part of the Shamas Rugby Foundation and Tatu City’s partnership to nurture Kenyan sports and talent.

The tour is also in partnership with RenWoman, the gender empowerment initiative of Rendeavour, Tatu City’s owner and developer, tour organisers said in a statement.

“We are extremely proud of our teams — RenGirls Under-15s and ViQueens Under-18s — heading to Uganda for Connect to Africa,” said Edoardo De Paoli, SRF’s managing director.

“Our focus is to equip these girls with the skills and right attitudes they will need to pursue opportunities in life, no matter their background.

“This exposure will play an important role in building the self-awareness and the confidence of the girls both on and off the rugby pitch.”

Rendeavour country head Chris Barron said that Tatu City is celebrating the tour with the local community, whose members were selected for the first time for international play.

“We entered into partnership with Shamas Rugby Foundation in 2017 to grow youth rugby in Kenya, and we have seen tremendous results.

“We are thrilled that three young women from Tatu Primary School have the opportunity to travel abroad and compete against some of the best teams in Africa,” Barron said.

At the squad’s send-off event at Tatu City, former world cross country and half marathon champion runner Lornah Kiplagat inspired the women to pursue victory both in the competition and in their communities.

“The work of champions is never finished at the end of the race,” she said.

“Be champions in everything you do. For yourself, your families and your friends.”

More than 250 children have already benefited from the partnership between Tatu City and Shamas Rugby Foundation, including children from Tatu Primary School and Ngewe Primary School, who take part in weekly training sessions.

This initiative has seen Tatu City grow to be the largest rugby clinic under Shamas Rugby Foundation.

Members of the Shamas Rugby Foundation and Tatu City under-15 and under-18 girls teams that will play in the Connect to Africa rugby tournament in Jinja, Uganda, this weekend pose for a group photo with former world cross country and half marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat (centre, in dark glasses) at Tatu City on Tuesday.

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