President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence to the family, friends and relatives of celebrated rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba who passed away on Friday night at a Nairobi hospital.
The President mourned the departed sportsman as a Kenyan great and an icon of rugby saying Ayimba had inspired a generation of Kenyans to take up and excel in rugby.
“It is a sad day in the history of Kenyan sports having lost Benjamin. From his exploits on the field as as a rugby player and on the touch line as a coach, Benjamin inspired a generation of young Kenyans to take up and excel as rugby players. He was truly a national rugby icon," the President eulogised.
“As a nation, we will forever be grateful for his great contribution to Kenya’s sports especially for the many accolades he earned the country over the years," the President added.
President Kenyatta recalled the late athlete's successes in rugby saying his most outstanding memory, as a rugby fan, was in 2016 when Kenya, coached by Ayimba, lifted the World Rugby Sevens Series main cup in Singapore after beating heavyweights Fiji.
He pointed out that the late Ayimba helped lift Kenya's rugby from national obscurity to international stardom, positioning the country on the global map as one of the world's emerging rugby nations.
“Besides earning Kenya accolades and global recognition as a rugby nation, Benjamin and his generation of players and coaches helped grow Kenya's brand abroad benefiting sectors such as tourism, hospitality and aviation," the President noted.
President Kenyatta prayed to God to give the family of the departed Kenyan hero strength and fortitude during this difficult period of mourning.