The government has pledged to fund Kenya’s participation in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia made the commitment on Friday amid fears of financial challenges that have affected Kenya Sevens rugby team.
Kaberia spoke on Friday during an interactive session themed “The Place of Sports in President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda” attended by journalists.
However, Kaberia said the government would only extend financial help to the cash-strapped Kenya Rugby Union after the national sports body has held elections on March 20.
He said: "Rugby is one sport we have a lot of interest in and which we wish to develop. We are ready to fund the sevens national team because they have been doing a good job, and we are already in talks with the Kenya Rugby Union officials. We will get a clearer picture after the union’s elections."
Former vice chairman of Kenya Rugby Union Alexander “Sasha” Mutai, former Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Rugby Club chairman Asiko Owiro, KRU secretary-general Oduor Gangla and Ezekiel Owuor who is one the directors at KRU are all vying to succeed chairman Richard Omwela who will not seek re-election.
Bogged down by financial challenges occasioned by the withdrawal of sponsors and the absence of key players, Kenya Sevens has struggled to make a mark at the world series this season.
The team is currently ranked 13th in the world going into the fifth and sixth legs next month in America and Canada respectively.
Speaking at the same function, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Japhter Rugut said the body will conduct more tests in a bid to catch cheats.
"We will conduct 1,500 random tests this year, that is 200 more than last year because we do not want few cheats to soil the country's reputation. That said, those tempted to use these drugs should not only know that we will catch them, but also that some of these drugs cause illnesses, including cancer," said Rugut.
Kaberia also said the government would outline policies to ensure team uniforms, jerseys, football and volleyball nets are manufactured locally to create jobs.