Omondi; the Kenyan rugby ace making waves in France
- Former Kenya Sevens international Teddy Omondi believes he’s settled in well as a coach after hanging his boots 5 years ago and taking up a different responsibility in the technical bench
- The former Kenya Harlequins and Impala utility back will be in charge of a select side, Seventise that comprises of players from some of the top professional clubs in France
Former Kenya Sevens international Teddy Omondi believes he’s settled in well as a coach after hanging his boots five years ago and taking up a different responsibility in the technical bench.
The former Kenya Harlequins and Impala utility back will be in charge of a select side, Seventise that comprises of players from some of the top professional clubs in France.
This will be the first time Omondi is back home in Kenya as a professional coach. The 35-year-old last featured for the national rugby sevens team in 2006 and he competed in the then Safari Sevens.
He moved to France to play professionally where he’s been privileged to play in the French top flight.
“I have been in France for 13 years, played in Racing metro, been changing clubs in federal one and two,” Omondi told Citizen TV.
He played for Racing Metro 92 for a season, then moved to Pontoise before he had a stint another French rugby club Angerien for three seasons.
He concluded his playing days at club Vanes. Omondi who lives with his family in France had to alter his lifestyle significantly learning the language and adopting a new culture.
One of the challenges that Omondi had to contend with was the fact that he was not a native French and once he relocated to the Western Europe country he had to learn the language and also coach the game in French.
“The language was very difficult, because every time I coach, the first thing that comes is English and translating my ideas to French, its something I had to learn over time, it’s an uphill task,” Omondi said.
Omondi begun coaching the junior teams and doing development work for Stade Francaise, which competes in the French top tier.
As time progressed, he started getting into his stride and inspired Seventise to win the French sevens series in 2018. His players attribute their success to his unique coaching style.
“Last year we won the sevens circuit, we won mainly because we were very collective we adopted his system,we managed to have the good players.
“During the training sessions he is very serious, he is authoritative outside the pitch he always smiling and bringing joy to the team,”
Omondi is nostalgic being back in Kenya for the annual sevens tournament.
“It feels very good being back in Safari sevens after a very long time, the last time being a player changing the roles to the whistle, it’s a beautiful atmosphere,” Omondi added.
Alexandre Rousset, a Seventise player, described Omondi as ‘always serious on the pitch’ but hailed the tactician as a charismatic person who ‘always brings joy’ to everyone.
“It really is a pleasure to come here in his homeland we have been well welcomed so far, we have high expectations for the tournament,” Rousset said.
Seventise begins its campaign against Zimbabwe before facing off against European neighbors Spain and the local sevens series champions KCB.
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