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Meet Kenyando, 7s rugby female coach adept at beating men

By Gibo Zachary
Monday, March 23rd, 2020
St Joseph’s Nyabigena Boys coach Saphinah Kenyando (right) celebrates with her team after winning the 2018 Kisii County Secondary School Games rugby sevens title. Photo/PD/GIBO ZACHARY

Oscar Bimpong once said, “success is for those that presses on when they see a wall, find ways around a road block and consistently push boundaries and conquer territories against all odds”.

This was true during this year’s Kisii County Secondary Schools Term One Games when Saphinah Kenyando, the only female rugby coach in the championship, led St Joseph’s Nyabigena Boys to glory.

In a sport dominated by men, Kenyando went against all odds to beat her male counterparts as she repeated the heroics of 2018 by guiding her side to the rugby sevens title.

In the 2018 final, Nyabigena beat Kisii School 12-7 to lift the title for the first time and that fueled Kenyando’s desire to conquer in the region and nationally.

She, however, fell short, exiting at the Nyanza region games before switching to 15s where she triumphed at sub-county level and went on to lose at the county finals.

She returned to her first love, sevens rugby, this year, reached the county games final and thrashed hosts Cardinal Otunga Boys 31-0 and now wants more.

“It was not easy but I’m so happy to have finally broken the jinx of winning the county trophy. 

We play and train on stoney grounds because we don’t have a good rugby field. However, the trophy is finally home and being the only woman coach in the competition, I’m so excited,” she said.

“Winning is a great feeling. We thank God for this victory. This achievement is not for one person.

I want to acknowledge the boys’ efforts and my colleagues too,” added Kenyando, who is now targeting the Nyanza region games title.

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