Uganda Breweries Limited, under their brand Guinness, has confirmed injecting Sh250m in the much anticipated National Rugby Sevens.
This year’s tournament that gets underway on Saturday, will take the name Guinness 7s and will be played under six circuits (legs).
The winner of each circuit will take home Sh500000 while the overall winner banks Sh3m. First and second Runners up will take Sh2m and sh1m respectively.
The prize money for the overall winner is an increment from Sh1.4m that Betway KOBs won in the 2019 season.
The Guiness Sevens returns after missing out in 2020 due to Covid19.
Uganda Rugby Union and the Guinness 7s organising committee have expressed readiness for the event.
“We thank Guinness who have been with us for the past years,” started URU CEO Ramsey Olinga.
“In 2019, Covid19 denied us a chance to hold the event but we are excited to be back. These Sevens Series are going a long way to bringing back life of livelihoods after the adverse effects of Covid19.”
Guinness Uganda Brand Manager Elizabeth Mutamuliza said that injecting Sh250m into the tournament is “worth doing.”
She added: “We have a very long and succesful relationship with the game of Rugby. For us, this partnership is a perfect fit and we are excited for this year as well. We want to grow the Sport from the grassroot.
“Our brands are not for only drinking but also to grow the societies and Sevens is a good way. We want to give everyone a platform to shine brightest.”
Six Circuits on the Card:
Guinness Rugby 7s Circuits:
*Mileke 7s (Warriors/Legends) – Oct 2/3
*Gulu 7s (Gulu Elephants/Gulu) – Oct 9
*Soroti 7s (Soroti Rangers/Soroti) – Oct 16
*Rujumba 7s (Black pirates/King’s Park) – Oct 30/31
*Kabale 7s (Rams/ Kabale) – Nov 6
*Coronation 7s (BSO/Legends) – Nov 13/14
There will be six circuits (three in central and as many upcountry) this time round after Kabale and Soroti legs were added on the calendar.
The developments have seen Buddu and Kyadondo excluded for different reasons, with tournament Chairman Vincent Otim saying that the latter did not submit their bid.
Only the three central circuits will be played for two days each.
Due to Covid19, no fans will be allowed to access the venues as the Union and committee moves to ensure that they adhere to Standard Operating Procedures and protocols set by the Ministry of Health and National Council of Sports.
Otim added: “Clubs will ensure that their players are tested for Covid-19 at least 24 hours before the tournament day. Tests will be repeated every 14 days by the teams.”
“A player who is found positive will self-isolate for two weeks and will be required to produce a negative test before he can be allowed to rejoin the squad.”
There will be 10 core teams taking part and six invitational sides in the central circuits.
The 10 core teams are; Warriors, Impis, Mongers, Jinja Hippos, Rams, Sailors, Betway KOBs, Pirates, Heathens and Buffaloes.
The six invitationals are Rhinos, Stallions, Jaguars, Jjengo, Rams II and Kisubi Pacers.
Only two invitational teams will join the 10 core teams for the Up country circuits.
*Pool A – Betway KOBs, Warriors, Rams, Jjengo
*Pool B – Black Pirates, Impis, Sailors, Entebbe Jaguars
*Pool C – Heathens, Hippos, Rhinos, Pacers
*Pool D – Toyota Buffaloes, Plascon Mongers, Stallions, Rams II
Mileke 7s – ‘Legends Live Among Us’
The Mileke 7s will honour a couple of legends including the Mileke family.
“We will mainly honour Patrick Mileke. We are fortunate that we celebrated him while he was still alive. Its unfortunate that he passed away thereafter. We want to carry it on,” said Warriors Rugby Chairman Emmanuel Fudribo.
“We want to recognise many people who have passionately served the Sport. We have expanded the scope to honour the memory of legends who have gone ahead of us and recognising those who are still among us.”
This, the Mileke 7s will recognise; The Milekes, Late Henry Rujumba, Late Edward Kitaka, Robert Seguya, Hellen Koyokoyo Buteme, Allan Musoko, The Musokes and the Mudoolas (Fred, Timothy, Charlotte and Theresa).
“As a community, we also have to change our mindset and honour those who are still living,” added Fudribo. “Honouring them when they are still alive is a big privileged and special thing. We get memories that will live forever.”