High Altitude Rugby 7s Tournament Set to Elevate the Game

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Tournament Date and Location: Kigezi High Altitude 7s in Kabale, Saturday.
Teams Participating: 12 men’s and 5 women’s teams, including Rwanda.
Sponsorship: Sponsored by Guinness, promoting grassroots rugby development.
Historical Success: Annual event with champions like Gladiators, Pirates, Rams.

This Saturday, Kabale will buzz with excitement as the highly anticipated Guinness Kigezi High Altitude 7s Rugby Tournament kicks off.

A Unique Collaboration

The Kigezi High Altitude Rugby 7s is an annual event organized by Rams Rugby Football Club in collaboration with Kigezi Silverbacks RFC and Kigezi Queens, all based in Kabale. Sponsored by Guinness, the tournament highlights the growing partnership between these clubs and the sponsor, aiming to foster rugby development in the region.

Lineup of Teams

This year’s tournament will showcase 12 men’s teams and five women’s teams. The lineup includes renowned clubs such as Kobs, Rhinos, Warriors, Rams, Jinja Hippos, Kigezi Silverbacks, Tooro Lions, Naguru Home Boys, Kigezi Queens, Jaguars, and Lady Swans. Additionally, four teams from Rwanda will participate: Lions De Fer, 1000 Hills, Rwamagana Hippos (Women), and Kamonyi Panthers (Women).

The Thrill of Competition

The Kigezi High Altitude 7s promises thrilling rugby action as teams vie for supremacy, prize money, and trophies. The tournament format, Rugby 7s, is known for its fast-paced and high-energy matches, providing spectators with non-stop excitement.

Sponsorship and Support

Speaking at the press briefing, Justin Agaba, the Guinness Brand Representative, highlighted the significance of Guinness’ sponsorship and its commitment to rugby in Uganda. “Guinness is committed to growing rugby in Uganda as seen through our sponsorships and partnerships over the years. We have sponsored several tournaments like the Guinness Sevens and extended support to the National Sevens team, the Rugby Cranes. We are now deepening our support to benefit the actual stakeholders of the game; that’s why we are going to the grassroots, in the regions and towns to support the sport,” Agaba stated.

Grassroots Development

Agaba emphasized the importance of nurturing new talent and laying a strong foundation for future generations of rugby players. “This is because we want to not only shine a light on the new and upcoming talent in the sport but also, we want to partner with them to grow their tournaments so as to lay a firm foundation for the generations of rugby players to come, which is what ‘Black Shines Brightest’ is about,” he added.

Local Enthusiasm

Derek Mpora, Chairperson of the Kigezi High Altitude 7s, echoed Agaba’s sentiments, underscoring the tournament’s role in strengthening ties between Uganda and Rwanda. “For us, the Guinness Kigezi High Altitude Rugby 7s 2024 tournament is a testament to the growing partnership between Uganda and Rwanda and our club Rams RFC, and we are thrilled to have both men and women teams participating. I would like to extend my gratitude to this tournament’s sponsors for their support in making this event possible. Your contribution to the development of rugby in our region is invaluable,” said Mpora.

A Rich History

The annual tournament has become a staple in the regional rugby calendar since its inception in June 2018, when the Gladiators clinched the first title. Subsequent editions have seen fierce competition, with Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, Stanbic Black Pirates, and Rams RFC emerging as champions in different years. Each edition has built upon the success of the previous, drawing more teams and spectators.

The 2024 Edition

As Kabale prepares to host this prestigious event at Kabale Stadium, expectations are high. The tournament not only promises top-tier rugby but also fosters a spirit of camaraderie and regional cooperation. The participation of both men’s and women’s teams from Uganda and Rwanda highlights the inclusive nature of the event, promoting gender equality in sports.

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