Former Kenya Sevens star Kayange strides into rugby hall of fame
Former Kenya Sevens star Humphrey Kayange has been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
When announcing the inductee, World Rugby Hall of Fame panel Chairman John Eales lauded Kayange, inductee 150, for his contribution saying he not only influenced the sport here in the country but his efforts on the world stage were immense.
“The very fact that Rugby Sevens was part of the Olympic programme was in some part down to Kayange who was a member of the World Rugby bid team that successfully earned the inclusion of Rugby Sevens at the Rio Olympics,” said Eales. Adding: “He is a role model for all aspiring Kenyan rugby players.”
Kayange, who couldn’t hide his joy and disbelief said: “ It’s surreal, it’ one of those things you do not expect. I’m honoured, I’m excited.
Looking at the names in the hall of fame it’s unbelievable I’m able to share a platform with them,” said a bemused Kayange.
The former Mwamba Rugby player joins rugby elites such as Webb Ellis, Jonah Lomu, Johnny Wilkinson, Richie McCaw Brian O’Driscoll Os du Rant and Graham Henry. Other to have been inducted include Nelson Mandela and Rugby School.
The hall of fame is a celebration of those that have inspired and developed the game from those humble origins to the character-building sport it is today.
It feats those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, demonstrating rugby’s character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect on and off the field.
Accolades poured in for the exceptional recognition from all quarters.
President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Kayange saying the feat was a global honour of the star’s contribution to the rise of rugby in Kenya.
The President challenged upcoming players to emulate the 39-year old’s exploits.
His brother, Collins Injera, a rugby great also, congratulated Kayange: “Congratulations for being inducted...I believe you deserve it you’ve been a great servant of the game,” said Injera.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi was also full of praise: Congratulations... This is a great honour to our sportsmen/women & our nation.
As a former rugby player, I am very proud of you for the feat you have achieved as a role model and as a nationalist.”
Former Mwamba and Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Mwangi Muthee also applauded Kayange saying: “This is what happens when you invest in character. Blessings just flow.
Tall makes our hearts so warm and glad. Thank you Tall for making us all very proud.”
Kayange has been included in the Class of 2021 which also has Fijian Osea Kolinisau, Huriana Manuel-Carpenter and Cheryl McAfee (New Zealand), Will Carling (England) and Jim Telfer (Scotland).