Kenya Lionesses’ Evelyne Kalemera retires

Everlyne Kalemera and her Kenya Lionesses teammates during her final match. PHOTO/Mercy Chebet.

Kenya Lionesses’ veteran front-rower, Evelyne Kalemera, has officially announced her retirement from rugby, marking the end of an illustrious five-year career.

Her farewell match took place on November 11, 2023, during the Elgon Cup clash against Uganda’s Lady Cranes at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, where the Lionesses triumphed with an impressive 87-3 victory.

In a heartfelt post-match statement, Kalemera expressed her gratitude for the privilege of wearing the national team jersey. Despite acknowledging that her body is still willing to continue playing, she revealed that her mind is now unwilling, signalling that the time is right to step away from the stage.


“It’s been a pleasure donning the wonderful 4 colours of our beloved country, and it’s officially time off… ‘NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE, IF YOU STAY TOO LONG, YOU SPOIL IT, A GOOD DANCER MUST KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE THE STAGE’ (P.L.O). The body still wants it, but the mind is unwilling, I am grateful to God for His unwavering grace that has carried me all through my presence on the pitch.”

Kalemera expressed her gratitude to the coaches who believed in her capabilities, allowing her to represent her country. She specifically thanked Fit Squad Coach Sammy Njogu for pushing her beyond limits and being a driving force in her journey. She also acknowledged Coach Phillip Wesonga for his guidance and support throughout her career.

Addressing her teammates, Kalemera thanked them for the honour of playing alongside them and highlighted the memorable send-off they provided with an outstanding 87-3 victory.

Everlyn, who began her rugby journey in 2015, made her Debut with Mwamba Rugby Club, inspired by her brother who also played for the Black Blad and Mwamba RFC.

Everlyne Kalemera in a past interview. PHOTO/Sports Central

Everlyne Kalemera in a past interview. PHOTO/Sports Central

She later joined the Kenya Lionesses in 2019 playing in the front row and won the Elgon Cup during her test debut in the white,red and green jersey the same year.

Kenya Lionesses will remember her for the incredible contributions, dedication and unwavering passion which contributed to the Lionesses maintaining their status in the WXV3 Dubai tournament against Spain, Kazakhstan and Colombia.

As she embarks on the next phase of her life, Kalemera plans to focus on her professional development, which she had partially put on hold during her rugby career and will continue appearing in the rugby community, continuing to play for the Mwamba Rugby Club as she coaches aspiring young rugby player.

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