KISUMU, 9TH FEBRUARY 2018: Officials of Kisumu RFC are appealing to local corporates to support the club that is currently struggling to meet their obligations. Speaking to Urban Radio 90.7 FM, Chairman Hon. Eddy Anayo says that the officials are now forced to dig into their own pockets to finance the matches that cost between Sh. 80,000 and Sh. 100, 000 to host.
"When the current office took over running the affairs of the club 45 days ago, we did not have a single cent in the bank account. This has forced us to dig into our own pockets to supplement what we get from the gate collections."
Anayo says that the previous sponsors that the club had such as United Millers were forced to stop supporting the club because of financial improprieties that the previous office engaged in. Anayo is promising organizations that are willing to come in and support the club that they will be transparent in their operations as their only interest in restoring the club to it's former glory.
"Kisumu RFC has always been the breeding grounds for players who move on to the national sevens team. That is our pride as the people of Kisumu. Even the current captain Andrew Amonde is a product of Kisumu RFC and that is the kind of pride we want to attach to local corporate organizations. We are not here to make money as officials, we are all already running profitable businesses and that is the kind of success we want to bring into the club."
Anayo is however impressed by the support that the club's fans have shown them by showing up in large numbers whenever they host a match at the Mamboleo Showgrounds.
"I am really grateful to the fans who show up to watch the matches whenever we play and I want them to know that the little money they pay whenever we play goes a long way in supporting the club's activities."
So far the highest amount collected from the gates is Sh. 40,000 but Anayo is confident that that will keep growing.
"We already have a huge following but we are still building on that. For brands who are interested in this kind of crowds this will be a great way of gaining visibility in this region."
The club is also looking for in kind sponsorship for consumables such as water for players and ambulance services.
"Rugby is a very dangerous sport but currently our players do not even have medical insurance. On top of that every time we are playing an ambulance needs to be parked at the pitch-side, this costs between Sh. 10,000 and Sh. 15,000, if we can find someone who takes care of that we will be a very happy institution."
Anayo also appealed to the county ministry of sports to come in and support the club. He says they have contacted the ministry severally for support but that is yet to come through.
"What the county government needs to understand is that when the club succeeds it brings pride to the whole of Kisumu. This is one way of not just supporting our youth but also attracting sports tourism to the county."
The Zircon Kenya Group which owns Urban Radio 90.7 FM has already pledged to be the club's official media partner for the season. The Group's General Manager Ben Ogombe says that supporting the team's activities is in line with the company's objective of creating a vibrant 'urban culture' in Kisumu.
"Rugby is one of the most 'urban sports' anyone can think of and for us this is one way of giving back to a community we are so much in love with. We will continue supporting the club through advertising their activities but we are also looking at ways of bringing in some of the other brands that we work with to support the club's activities such as Dala Sevens which will be coming up later in the year."
On Saturday the club will host 3 matches at the Mamboleo Showground from 12.00 PM. Kabras RFC will play Kisii RFC in a Kenya Cup tie from 4.00 PM. Other matches of the day will see Kisumu RFC meet U.O. E in Championship League tie from 2.00 PM while the first match of the day will be an Eric Shirley Shield tie that will pit Kabras RFC's second team against Kisii RFC's second team.