Kayange: Olympics the pinnacle for Sevens

(IRB.COM) Monday 20 August 2012
 Kayange: Olympics the pinnacle for Sevens
Humphrey Kayange was part of the IRB bid team when Rugby Sevens was added to the Olympic Games programme in 2009

Kenya Sevens legend Humphrey Kayange believes that the Olympic Games will now be the pinnacle of a Rugby Sevens player's career. 

Kayange was a member of the IRB bid team that saw the sport successfully inducted into the Olympic Games programme, and he also believes the sport will add to the festival atmosphere at Rio de Janeiro 2016.

"It's amazing, the Olympics is truly somewhere you want to be," said Kayange, who was speaking at the recent Sevens event at the Olympic Park during London 2012.

"It is beyond the imagination that you could play at an Olympic Games. This is where you want to compete as player, and where you want to be as fans. It is a fantastic sporting event for everyone. It will be the pinnacle of a Sevens player's career, and will be on every Sevens player's mind. That will be the event to be a part of in your career. 

"The memory it will create, just imagining competing in such an atmsophere, the stadium and even to be in the village sharing with other athletes and being part of the Olympic family will be great, and winning a medal would make it even more memorable.

"Sevens is an exciting sport, it is very fast, fun to watch and it has a party atmosphere. It bring spectators together, so in four years' time people will have a new sport to cheer on, and be an opportunity for those who haven't seen it to experience it. 

"I can't wait for four years to come round."

Special event

Kenya are currently preparing for the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series under new coach Mike Friday and the first round on Australia's Gold Coast in October.

Kayange, who is Kenya's second all-time leading try scorer with 126 - 13 behind brother Collins Injera, is unavailable for selection due to study commitments in Bristol. But he would love to be a part of the squad in Rio.

"That is something I am working on," joked Kayange. 

"It is four years, I need to get in shape and keep grinding on. But I would want to be in Rio and playing, that would be a truly special event for me."

With Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow and the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow also taking place, and a new Women's Sevens World Series taking place for the first time, the sport is only moving in one direction.

"The growth has been amazing," added Kayange.

"We have seen the Series grow to nine events, the women starting their own series, and players wanting to be part of the sport in different countries and regions in the world.

"It shows how well Sevens has done in the past few years, and where it can go. I think it will just take over. It is something all the younger generation coming through want to be a part of."