The rugby fraternity paid their last respects to departed Kenya Simbas fullback Tony Onyango who was laid to rest on Friday afternoon in Migori County.
Onyango passed away March 3 after collapsing in his house in Ngong town.
The rugby fraternity also lost Sigalame High School student Eliakim Oundo who passed away on Sunday while undergoing treatment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret. Oundo had suffered head injuries after collision during an inter-schools match in Busia last Friday.
In the wake of the two deaths, the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has urged organisations and institutions wishing to engage in rugby to ensure they use qualified coaches.
“Tony Onyango Opondo had at the time of his death represented Kenya across all junior and senior national squads. He also had an illustrious and titled club career over the past decade with Resolution Impala Saracens, Strathmore Leos, Homeboyz and KCB. His death on Tuesday 3 March 2020 was both shocking and unfortunate as it occurred at the prime of his career and we await the post mortem results,” a statement from KRU said.
“While we are still coming to terms with Tony's passing, we also have learnt with deep regret the death of Eliakim Oundo of Sigalame High School who passed away this past weekend after sustaining an injury during an inter-schools match in Busia County. We extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends and teammates and pray for their strength during this trying time.”
“Whereas this particular inter-schools competition is run by KSSSA, KRU is in constant communication with the organisers in terms of expected standards for the event inclusive of player welfare. In these trying times, as the two gentlemen are laid to rest, we request their families be given space to mourn peacefully, without undue speculation or accusations. May they both Rest in Peace.”
“It is instructive to note that KRU has issued guidelines on player medical pre-screening before players take part in rugby activity, involving the use of a standard questionnaire and recommended tests. KRU also regularly runs courses on player welfare related issues like Concussion Management, First Aid in Rugby and Immediate Care in Rugby. KRU has an appreciated list of qualified personnel to run the said courses as well to offer any advice that may be sought. World Rugby also provides online resources which help in the above mentioned courses.”
Oundo, a form three student at Sigalame High School, was injured during a play-off match with Nambale Boys High School in Busia last week.