Tatu City and Shamas break ground for new rugby facility
Pitches will be open to youth teams, as well as residents and neighbours of Tatu City
Tatu City has started construction of a rugby facility to be operated by Shamas Rugby Foundation, in order to provide recreational facilities for residents and develop the sport nationally. Two rugby fields and one multipurpose sports field, scheduled for completion by mid-2020, will serve the foundation, schools and residents at Tatu City and the neighbouring community.
Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony, Stephen Jennings, Founder and CEO of Rendeavour, owner and developer of Tatu City, emphasised the importance of sports and leisure facilities within the city. “Tatu City’s live-work-play environment is open for residents and visitors alike. Since Tatu City joined hands with Shamas Rugby Foundation in 2017, we have seen tremendous interest in and growth of the sport in our neighbouring community. So far, more than 300 young people have had a chance to train here”, said Jennings.
Edoardo De Paoli, Director of Shamas Rugby Foundation, highlighted the role the new pitch will play. “We have been working together to give rugby coaching to the students at Tatu Primary School and Ngewe Primary School, because sports contribute significantly to the development of character, resilience and teamwork. These fields will provide us with a dedicated training ground for the children, and rugby enthusiasts from the entire Kiambu County. This being a rugby World Cup year, we are glad to be developing the sport at the grassroots level. Perhaps in a few years, some of the young people training here will represent the country in international competitions,” said De Paoli.
Shamas Rugby Foundation has benefited more than 1,500 students all over Nairobi and Kiambu County. The foundation, which fields a senior boys and a senior girls team in the Kenya national rugby circuit, is also involved in developing boys and girls off the rugby pitch, by running life skills camps, and providing scholarship programmes for secondary school and university.
Recently, Tatu City, in partnership with Shamas and Scroll & Priest, sent 20 girls to the Connect to Africa Rugby 7s Tournament held in Jinja, Uganda. The under 15s team came in third, while the under 18s were crowned champions of their age group.
Tatu City’s rugby pitches will compliment exercise trails designed by Olympian runner Lornah Kiplagat.
About Shamas Rugby Foundation (www.shamasrugby.com)
Shamas Rugby Foundation is a sport-for-development organisation that uses rugby and its values to enhance the well-being of children and young adults living in urban slums and rural areas in Kenya, through life skills and counselling, education and employability and community welfare programs. Today, Shamas reaches over 1,500 children (ages 8-18) in five centres in Nairobi and Kiambu County on a weekly basis. Shamas has 55 students on secondary school scholarships and eight students on university scholarship.