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Impala get healthier for season

Tuesday October 16 2012
Davis Makoli px

PHOTO | FILE Davis Makoli of Impala RFC (with the ball) braves Western Bull’s Mike Ligono tackle during their Prinsloo Sevens encounter at Nakuru Athletics Club on September 1. Impala thrashed Western Bulls 17-0.

Former Kenya Cup champions Impala Rugby Football Club on Tuesday got a boost towards the new season after medical insurance provider Resolution Health East Africa Limited renewed its partnership with them.

Resolution Health, which is the team sponsor, gave a cheque for Sh1 million to the club’s chairman, Jeff Gangla, at Impala Sports Club.

Gangla nevertheless said they were still in need of funds with the door open for the title sponsor.

The club requires an estimated Sh20 million next season with most of it going towards players’ allowances, international tours, coaches’ salaries and its rugby academy.

“The most important thing for us now is putting in place the right structures and systems, and that is what the new committee and technical bench is working on,” he said. “Resolution Health’s support will go a long way in enhancing these programmes, especially the academy.”

Gangla said the team, which won Kenya Cup last in 2009, has greatly improved, having reached the semi-final of the season-opening Airtel Floodlit tournament.

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“We are investing in the team and the results will come out soon.”

Besides well-wishers, Impala are looking forward to raising funds from their Impala Floodlit tournament.

Resolution Health’s marketing manager Eunice Khimulu Nyakundi said the firm would continue their support for Impala since that was in line with its commitment to the development of rugby in the country.

Rich heritage
“We acknowledge Impala as a club with a rich heritage, having also continued to provide quality players to the national teams,” Nyakundi said. “It’s our hope that this partnership will enable the club meet its objectives for the 2012 /2013 season.”

Gangla said Impala haven’t done heavy recruitment this season but instead focused on building on the players who were there last term.

The side, which is coached by former international Innocent “Nancos” Simiyu, recruited hooker Kelvin Karani fresh from Meru School, Zimbabwean prop Solomon Chisore and Kenya Harlequin fly half Charles Njoroge.

Impala were sixth in Kenya Cup last season, the first time they finished outside the top three since 1998.

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