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Big Ted on why the relegation of Shujaa Sevens is ‘a good thing’.

The Kenya Sevens team was relegated from the IRB Sevens Rugby series last on May 20, 2023, after putting up one of the worst performances in the tournament.

The team lost to Canada, 12-7, in the final of the play-offs when a win was enough to avoid relegation.

Earlier, the team suffered consistent losses to South Africa, Russia, Canada, New Zealand and Fiji.

The poor results have been accredited to poor planning and lack of professionalism which led to the players going for months without pay.

At one point, the players had to request for funds from fans on social media, forcing Ababu Namwamba, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Youth, the Arts and Sports, to reprimand rugby officials.

Relegation is a big blow as the Kenyan Rugby Sevens team is one of the most popular teams in the world.

It has brought so much fame and pride to Kenya with impressive performances around the world alongside the marathoners and the women volleyball team.

This will be the first time in 23 years that the Rugby Sevens team will not play in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

As the team and fans continue to process the turn of events for the national team, Los Angeles Consul General Big Ted, born Thomas Kwaka, penned the team and fans a heartfelt letter, saying that even gallant soldiers need rest from the battlefield.

“Dear Kenya Sevens and Kenya Rugby Union, @officialkru, I hope this letter finds you well. We have received the latest results with great sadness and while it shall take time to get used to, our hope lies in the fact that you have beaten all this teams before and lifted that very tournament that you must now sit out of. This may be a good thing, as even brave soldiers can get wounded in the fight and gallant soldiers still need a quiet place to rest. may we all take time to reflect on not only our loss but also our win. let’s retreat into our huts for the night because tomorrow, we shall hunt the same beast again.

To the union, maybe it’s a good thing. we can now focus and invest all our energy in rebuilding the game from (the) ground up. From the grassroots to the Universities and the Club leagues to the XV squads and even the women’s teams. Maybe its a good thing that we can now focus on the previously popular Kenya 7 rugby circuit.

To Kenyans everywhere, maybe this is a good thing because our love and passion can now be sharpened to love ourselves, not only in our winning season but even when the cheer is gone. May we now rally behind the boys pushing them to train harder, play better and win more. The world shall miss us, they know that we are the real deal. The stadiums shall be loud but without the flair, their plays good but without swag, their pools tough but without the real voice of the afrobeat, their stands quiet with orderly spectators but no Kenyan sherehe. They shall miss us – but we shall be back. We have been to the mountain top and we have been to the promised land. We know how to get there.

“But it really doesn’t matter to me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land” (King, “I’ve Been,” 222–223).

It may not be with this crop of players or this year or even the next but we are coming back for our tittle and we are not coming to take our space at the table, we are coming for the whole table. Kenya to the world,” said Big Ted.

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