. Vihiga Granites RFC is one of the most recent clubs in Kenya
Introducing Vihiga Granites RFC
By Patrick Korir | Mon 04 Mar, 2019 17:25

Vihiga Granites RFC is the newest rugby entity in town.

Aptly named, the newbies are from Vihiga County, operating from within the footprint of another club Mbale RFC.

New to the scene, the club is dreaming big, already, and wish to grace the top leagues in Kenya in the very near future.

Formed in December 2018, the new club currently features in the Western Nationwide league. Demesi Secondary School grounds in Sabatia Sub - County, and alternatively the AP grounds in Mbale are the clubs training grounds.

Vihiga Granites RFC hopes to be that team that taps onto the large player pool in its vicinity to prove its strength in rugby.

Former Mable RFC Vice chair Vincent Ababu is the clubs Chair with Clara Josephine as the patron. Former Kenyan international Ken Isindu, a Nairobi school alumni, steps in as head coach.

Weeks into formation, the club joined the Western league and played their maiden game against Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University in mid January, a game they lost 5-3 in Ramogi.

A walkover against Homa Bay RFC followed and their first on-the-pitch win followed after seeing off Shieywe 24-3. Thereafter its been wins galore; 80-21 against Webuye, 12-7 over Citam Kisumu and most recently an 18-7 win over hosts Bungoma in early March.

How did the club come into being considering part of the managers were at Mbale RFC?

"We opted to form another club to give young players a chance to expose their talent because in Vihiga we have a great pool of players," said Ababu to Raga House.

As intimated by Ababu, the club's catchment area is schools such as Vihiga High, Chavakali High as well as day schools in the periphery.

The club is currently seeking affiliation from the Union to be fully recognized as a member. This they hope will be achieved during an upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the current month of March.

"We have made an application to the Union and we have been informed to look for clubs that can propose and second us. The process is ongoing but we hope to be affiliated in the upcoming AGM."

Like any new club, Vihiga Granites has short and long term plans. For beginners the team hopes for a good finish in their current league on their debut season. By year 2021 the club hopes to have scaled upwards to the second tier of Kenyan rugby, the Championship. 

"We entered the league while it was ongoing. For this season we want to at least reach the semis (Western region). Next year we want to finish top of the Nationwide to qualify for the championship."

As they grow gradually, Vihiga Granites hope to be the centre of rugby in Western region.

"These days when your talk about rugby in Western people talk about Kabras. We want to change that mentality so that when you say Western rugby people can see Vihiga as the home of rugby because we have had great players coming from here. The place has been a sleeping giant,"

Club patron Clara gave another dimension of the clubs plans.

Formation of a girls outfit and piecing up the game from an early stage are part of the clubs objectives.

"We have to show ourselves each time as we work towards growing bigger and better as we develop rugby in our County and our Country,"

"We are lovers of rugby more than anything and we want to see it develop and our young people to become more that just rugby players. We want them to use it as a path to go where they need to go."

"We are moving up step by step. Like any club we will be looking for sponsors in cash or in kind and any form of support."

"There are girls also coming up and there are little ones too and doing it single handedly is not easy," added Clara.

Part of the player pool at Vihiga Granites includes Nelson Kawi, Ignitious Olunga, Felix Echuli, Sam Maloba, Bravin Azuvale, Savatia Lesline, Gift Muyonga, Rusel Ashibaka, Hillary Ambale, Scott Elvis, Emmanuel Bahati, among others.

Patrick Korir
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