RUGBY

Meet Peris Mukoko, who's looking to change the face of rugby in Kenya

Be bold, take that step, and get started, we are here to support you - Peris Mukoko to women looking to get into sports

Peris Mukoko

For a long time, the sports world has majorly been male-dominated, right from the players to the management.

In recent years, however, a new breed of women has ventured into the unchartered waters, looking to assert their presence and expertise - from the playground to the boardroom.

Peris Mukoko is among the women looking to change how sports are viewed, and specifically in the game of rugby, a sport she first interacted with in the mid-2000s.

A stiff prop and second-rower, Mukoko rose to even don the national jersey until she chose to take a dimension of the game in 2010, match officiation.

In 2013, she became the first Kenyan woman to be accredited as an educator by World Rugby.

Mukoko has held the whistle overseeing matches in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and even in the women’s world rugby seven’s series in Dubai.

A woman of many firsts, Mukoko is looking to rise from a board director in the Kenya Rugby Union to vice-chair, a position no woman has held before. She envisions a sport that can facilitate the continuous development of players, referees, coaches and administrators who can perform to higher levels.

“Kenya Rugby Union is over 50 years old and since its inception, there has never been a woman elected to the executive committee.

"I envision holistic growth in all facets of our rugby here in Kenya. We’ll develop player pathways that ensure we have a consistent supply of talent for our national teams. We’ll develop our referees, coaches, and administrators to perform elite levels,” Mukoko says.

Mukoko says the levels of professionalism in advanced unions are what has enabled them to achieve what they have, adding that making proper appointments in the union can help run operations smoothly.

A former player, Mukoko also lauds the energy being put into the women’s league noting that the game is on the up.

“The women's game is on the up. We just recently had the first Kenya Cup league and there are several teams across the country working out the modalities of setting up women’s rugby teams,” she remarked.

If elected Mukoko pledges to continue with continuous trainings and reviews to improve the game.

“When elected, we’ll continue to do work that has already started and has been ongoing since 2020. Continuous training, development and reviews are ongoing to improve officiating. Also, referees will continue to get more experience in different tournaments across the continent,” she remarked.

The mother of one further encourages women looking to get in the game to bold and get started adding they are there to support them.

Mukoko is looking to beat Moses Ndale in the elections which were slated for March but postponed by two months over non-compliance with the sports act.

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