‘Trapped’ Lionesses roar for help ahead of Tokyo Games


Kenya Lionesses in action against New Zealand in their Rio 2016 Olympics opener. PHOTO/World Rugby
Kenya Lionesses in action against New Zealand in their Rio 2016 Olympics opener. PHOTO/World Rugby

In Summary

  • The national women’s rugby sevens team, Kenya Lionesses captain Philadelphia Olando has called on sponsors to come on board and support the team as they prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games slated for Tokyo, Japan in summer.
  • The Lionesses sealed their berth to the games last October, and are the sole African representative in the global event slated for July 24-August 9 in the Japanese capital.

The national women’s rugby sevens team, Kenya Lionesses captain Philadelphia Olando has called on sponsors to come on board and support the team as they prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games slated for Tokyo, Japan in summer.

The Lionesses sealed their berth to the games last October, and are the sole African representative in the global event slated for July 24-August 9 in the Japanese capital.

Despite their success, Olando disclosed the team has been through a myriad of challenges owing to lack of sponsorship.

“Our main focus as a team has always been to give our best despite the challenges we face, the major one being the sponsorship. Even when we went for the Olympic qualifiers, we had no sponsorship but we still gave our best as a team.

We are however hopeful sponsors will come and support the team especially as we gear towards the Olympic Games,” Olando told Citizen Digital.

At the same time, Olando revealed that they learnt valuable lessons from the 2016 Games held in Rio, Brazil and will be looking for a good outing in Tokyo.

At the 2016 Games, Kenya were placed in Pool B alongside New Zealand, France and Spain but could not proceed to the last four after finishing bottom of the group.

The Lionesses were then ranked 11th after winning one match against Colombia.

Kenya will once again be up against defending champions New Zealand, Canada, Australia, USA, Brazil, Great Britain, China, Fiji and hosts Japan.

“It is not going to be a walk in the park but I believe we have started our preparations very early and through proper training we will give our best. We have tasted ourselves against majority of the teams and we know that hard work pays no matter how talented you are,” said Olando.

The Lionesses will warm up for the Olympics with HSBC World Rugby Sevens qualifiers slated for April 3-5 in Hong Kong as well as Langford Sevens on March 2-3 in Canada.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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