Rugby, my game; the whistle, my love


Ishuga is seen here with the ball aiming a pass during an under-13 tournament in ...
Ishuga is seen here with the ball aiming a pass during an under-13 tournament in the UK.Image/COURTESY

As teams rumbled on the pitch fighting for honours in last weekend’s Prinsloo Sevens held at the Nakuru Athletic Club, so was a new talent unearthed.

This fine gem didn’t come in the form a muscled burly athlete charging like a Rhino to make a try but a slender 16- year old boy who made sure that every word he uttered was obeyed and that every call made was spot-on.

Determination

He might have been young, but his spirit was mighty, his determination greater than ever.

Meet the 16 year old Lawrence Ishuga, a Form Three student at the Nakuru Day High School who turned a rosy chapter in his young life at the weekend after the Rugby Union Committee gave him the chance of a lifetime to officiate some of the tier-two games.

The task  might have come as a shock to many but to those who have followed his path keenly, Ishuga has been an ever present feature in the Kenyan rugby scene; officiating for close to a year now, mostly at the junior level.

Besides his love for the whistle, Ishuga plays for his school team, the Nakuru Day under-20 and recently got a call up to the national junior side (under-20).

Ishuga (far right) with a team mate confers with John Donbosco Muamba, the head of referring committee.
Ishuga (far right) with a team mate confers with John Donbosco Muamba, the head of referring committee.IMAGE/COURTESY.

For now, the teenager seems to have found a niche in whistle blowing and is hoping to get more matches under his belt in the near future.

Nervous

“At first I was nervous but with time I used each match as a learning experience,” Ishuga told Citizen Digital; urging fellow teenagers to take up the sport and embrace the challenges that may come with it. “Don’t be nervous. Be disciplined. Communicate to players; accept criticism and praise, all in equal measure,”he advises.

His feat is almost unheard of given the fact that most of his age mates would rather be busy with play station games or other activities that appeal to the teens.

Through hard work, persistence and belief in God, the sky could be the limit for the young lad.

Three years ago, he boarded a plane, the first in his life as he made the long trip to the United Kingdom as part of the Tour Aid U-13 team.

Ishuga, fourth from right (standing) with team mates during a visit to the UK. Image/Courtesy
Ishuga, fourth from right (standing) with team mates during a visit to the UK. Image/Courtesy

Ishuga has also enrolled in a rugby program “I also play referee” an element of “Get into Rugby Program” which inducts youngsters to the basics of the game. Apart from that, he has also been attending refereeing courses in Nakuru and Nairobi.

Report by Edwin Mbare

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