Kenya Rugby League set to receive IRL affiliate status

Kenya Rugby League National Team. Photo Courtesy/KRLF.

The Kenya Rugby League Federation is set to receive a significant boost to its status after European Rugby League reviewed and approved their application for Affiliate Membership.

Over the past 18 months, the federation has experienced impressive growth since becoming Observer Member.

Affiliate Membership entails certain requirements, such as staging a domestic championship with at least four participating teams, implementing junior development programs, appointing certified coaches and match officials, and having played at least one senior international match for world ranking points.

Additionally, the federation is expected to demonstrate financial sustainability, possess a growth strategy, and adhere to good governance practices through the annual membership audit.

Richard Nyakwaka, KRLF chair, expressed excitement about the progress, stating, “Achieving Affiliate membership will create more opportunities for the players, management, officials, and fans. We are now ready to welcome international teams to visit Kenya for matches and tournaments.”

During their relatively short time as a national federation, Kenya has made a strong impression with the size and scale of their domestic competition structure.

They also hosted a successful technical education event in 2022, attended by delegates from across the Middle East & Africa region.

Moreover, Kenya has established a valuable link with Leeds Rhinos through their Foundation, where the Super League club provides online coaching courses to coaches intending to set up academies in the regions.

MEA regional director, Remond Safi, emphasized the close collaboration with KRLF to achieve Affiliate Membership status, acknowledging the nation’s ambition in advancing rugby league.

If Kenya’s proposed elevation is approved by the International RL board and full members at their meeting in Singapore next week, the country will join Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, and Nigeria as Affiliate Members in the region, while Lebanon and South Africa hold Full Member status.

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