This year’s Prescott Cup that starts on May 9 will be played in a new format that is set to liven up one of the oldest schools’ rugby competition in Nairobi.
For the first time in many years, the championship has got a major sponsorship. Entertainment firm Homeboyz on Saturday announced a Sh7.5 million package for the rugby festival.
Prescott Committee chairman Mwangi Karimi revealed the championships will from next year also be played outside Nairobi namely in the regions of Nyanza, Rift Valley, Eastern and Coast.
While receiving the sponsorship cheque from Homeboyz chief executive officer Myke Rabar at St Mary’s School, Karimi disclosed that the festival will also involve Damu Changa, Damu Pevu and the newly introduced Damu Pevu II.
Besides their sponsorship, Rabar announced that they will give three outstanding players sports scholarships. Karimi, who hailed Homeboyz gesture, disclosed that the four championships will comprise 10 teams each.
The finals will be staged on June 23 at St Mary’s School.
In the new format of play, Karimi explained that the first leg of the matches across all categories will be played on May 9.
However, in the next phase on May 12 all teams will play at one venue, Nairobi School, in a format dubbed the First Festival.
The Second Festival will be staged on May 26 at Lenana with the Third Festival scheduled to take place at a venue to be disclosed later.
However, next phase of the championships, which are the quarterfinals will be played at different venues between June 3 and June 15. The semi-finals will be played in a festival format at Rift Valley Academy on June 16 followed by the finals on June 23 at St Mary’s School.
“It has taken us three years to discuss with schools on this new format and generally on the need to reinvent this championships,” said Karimi. “There was the need to give it a new momentum.”
After this year, Karimi said the idea to move Prescott Cup to regions outside Nairobi is with a view of coming up with franchises from every region that will meet in a grand tourney.
“We shall then select a team that will be able to tour Zimbabwe and South Africa for Under-20 Championships,” said Karimi, who was accompanied by Prescott Cup Committee secretary Kikechi Kombo and tournament director Alfred Okumbe.
Karimi said the move to break to other regions will also see school coaches, who are mainly teachers benefit from coaching and refereeing courses. “Prescott is purely and Under-19 Championships while Damu Pevu Ubnder17. We shall be very strict on age cheating,” warned Karimi.
Kombo said they want to have more people playing rugby at the bottom since that will enable Kenya develop a strong base for both 15s and Sevens versions.