Lioness Captain Olando named coach of UAE women's rugby team

I’m looking forward to bringing the best ever I can - Head Coach Olando

Philadelphia Olando has been appointed as the Head coach of Emirati Women Rugby

The United Arab Emirates Rugby Federation has confirmed the appointment of two-time Olympian and Kenya Lionesses Captain Philadelphia Olando as the Head Coach of Emirati Women Rugby.

“The move comes after careful consideration and planning to raise the women’s rugby sport by introducing our Emirati women’s teams to competitive experience that should aid their development and solidify their rugby skill sets,” said a rugby federation statement.

The UAE Rugby Secretary-General, Mohamed Al Zaabi added: “We are very pleased to welcome Philadelphia to the team, which comes in alignment with the UAE Rugby’s plan to invest in the regional and Arab competitions in the near future, surely expanding the pool of women players.”

Olando, on the other hand, expressed her joy saying: “It’s an immense responsibility that I’m very keen to take on, I’m looking forward to bringing the best ever I can, given my Rugby World Cup experience as a player and Olympian, that too gives me great push forward.”

Olando who has been with the Lionesses for the last 15 years will be looking to tap into her experience, as a player as she dives into the murky waters of coaching.

She led Kenya to the Olympics in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and enjoys a strong player profile in rugby. The Federation reiterated that she has proven competency to lead the Emirati women’s teams.

The technician takes the reins of a team that is the current Asia West Rugby Sevens champion, after a very convincing 41-0 win against Qatar in the final.

It will be a busy year for the U.A.E. with the Arab Rugby 7s Championship in Tunisia between February 25 and 26, the Asian Games in Hangzhou between September 22 and 24, and the three stages of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series in October.

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