After a very successful season of UAE Mini & Youth rugby for the Dubai Exiles Under 13s, in which they won the Emirates Dubai 7s Youth Festival title as well as finishing the season as UAE Champions, it was off to Nairobi to visit Kenya Harlequins RFC.
Kenya Harlequin Football Club is one of the oldest and most famous rugby clubs in Kenya. Founded in Nairobi in 1923 when the Nairobi District team split into two clubs creating Harlequin RFC and Nondescripts RFC.
Exiles‘ Under 13s 2022-23. Emirates Dubai 7s Youth Festival Winners and UAE Champions
The Exiles relationship with the Kenya Harlequins began at the start of the 2022-23 rugby season. Exiles‘ Under 13 player, Nathan Ochola, was home in Nairobi for the summer holidays and ever keen to keep a rugby ball in his hands the good people at Kenya Harlequins were kind enough to let ever keen Nathan get involved and train with them throughout the summer break.
When Nathan returned to Dubai and Dubai Exiles RFC he wanted to say thank you to his generous hosts and came up with the idea of a ‘boot exchange’ to help out the young players at Kenya Harlequins RFC. Nathan’s scheme was quickly embraced by everybody at the club and at the end of the 2022-23 season over 300 pairs of rugby boots found their way into the suitcases of the Exiles‘ Under 13s to be put to good use by our friends in Nairobi.
Nathan at Kenya Harlequins in the summer of 2022
Nathan and his dad, ‘JP‘, with some of the boots donated by the Exiles‘ mums, dads, and players
“The Duba Exiles RFC established a relationship with the Kenya Harlequins RFC at the start of the 2022 – 2023 season. The Exiles have a large Kenyan community from Mini & Youth players to Senior players and Coaches. As a club we have collected over 300 pairs of rugby boots and other sports equipment from our members during the season. On Saturday, we will run a training clinic for the Kenya Harlequins and deliver the boots on behalf of the Club Chairman and all members of the Exiles.”
David Tidman – Director of Mini & Youth Rugby
Young players from across Nairobi get stuck in to the Exiles‘ coaches
An Under 13 ‘fun’ tournament was played after the coaching clinic
On Saturday (22nd April) the Exiles held a coaching clinic for Under 13 players at Harlequins RFC in Nairobi with players invited to take part from the different rugby clubs in the area. Young players from Kenya Harlequins, Kings, Shamas, and of course the Dubai Exiles enjoyed themselves in the coaching sessions before getting stuck into an convivial tournament between all of the attending teams.
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation article
(April 21st 2023)