Posted by:Eric Njiru
Immediate former Kenya Sevens strength and conditioning coach Ian Gibbons has spoken for the first time on why he left the job just few months after his appointment.
Speaking on Tuesday from England, Gibbons says failure by Kenya Rugby Union to fulfill it’s promises prompted him to step down from the role he had accepted with so much potential.
He thanked few members of the board as well as Kenya 7s sponsors Sportpesa for a good reception.
“The Union did not honour promises they made to me and the management team for team preparation and support during tours and I found this unacceptable. We as a performance staff have a responsibility to service players to the best of our ability that allows them to train and play well, and I believe with what we had to deal with continually we prepared well and had we started to see the hard work pay work”
“It is is the boards responsibility to provide resources and support to the performance team and the players and this hasn’t happened, the consistent interference is draining on management and it’s just not acceptable or conducive to consistent high performance against the fully professional and well resources team now on the circuit. Other personal contractual factors became increasingly unworkable with a young family to support back home”
“During my 4 months in the role I had my salary payment interfered with by individuals on the board on a regular basis, whether significantly late or wrong amounts been paid. This caused undue stress to me and the family and to be told it’s just the way things are done in Kenya again isn’t acceptable.
“When I returned from Sydney for a break which was agreed by the union, I received a significant long term and secure offer from another nation to head up the Physical Preparation for both 7s and 15s, I spoke to the family and we agreed it made sense to accept it.
“The new role is to be an immediate start subject to a visa been granted. I held discussions with both Innocent Simiyu (head coach) and Eric Ogweno (team manager) about continuing in role on tours only until the end of season and help with recruitment for a replacement was this was deemed unworkable by the board which is a decision I respect, therefore I resigned my position with immediate effect.”
“I have to say I was welcomed into the set up and forged strong relationships with both the players and coaching set up, they are a credit to themselves and work extremely hard in trying circumstances. We were building a strong team spirit and togetherness which will continue, the players show remarkable resilience and robustness given the circumstances”.
“I must thank Paula, Wendy, Ian, and Fred (board members and staff at the KRU) together with Sportspesa for the support and help they provided to me whilst in position these are good people”
“For Kenya it will take time to start competing with the fully professional top teams due to lack of resources and investment structure. The game of 7s moves on each season and the board have been caught short for too long and this shows with a lack of consistency in the 7s programme.
“I thank the players, management and supporters who made my stay with the team a real pleasure and I wish the boys well and I hope to catch up with them over the next few weeks”, concluded Gibbons.