Elvis Amunya, one of the utility players in the current MMUST rugby team, started his rugby journey in Kakamega High over a decade ago. 11 years on, he’s back to the very town where it all started.
During P.E lessons at school, his classmates would ask him why he didn’t consider joining the school team’s training sessions presumably because he possessed some of the physical attributes of rugby players. He was hesitant at first but finally, he succumbed to the pressure and decided to give it a crack.
“During P.E lessons my classmates would always tell me to join the school team probably because they saw something in me that I didn’t see,” Elvis Amunya told the scrummage.
Amunya started his rugby career as a backrower before being advised by former Kenya 7s coach Paul Murunga to train as a winger. He has since found a home in being a finisher.
“My first position was a flanker but when I went to Homeboyz after high school, the then coach Paul Murunga advised me to try in the wings and ever since I have been a utility back,” Amunya added.
Amunya was part of the Barbarians class of 2012 that scooped everything along their way, beginning from District games in Kakamega to clinching the East African title in Burundi. Schooling in a town full of rugby activities made Amunya achieve a lot, most notably playing a Kenya Cup league match while still in Form 3.
Despite his rugby future looking bright in Kakamega, Amunya didn’t want to hold back for some time. He immediately rushed to Nairobi after his KCSE exams to join Homeboyz, where a huge chunk of Kakamega School alumni had gone. He also tried out with Kenya Under 20.
“There was this attachment Homeboyz had with Kakamega High School, such that even many of the old boys were at Homeboyz and were successful so it just felt like a good place to start off Club rugby”
After having a short stint with the Deejayz, he decided to get back to Kakamega this time round to join the newly formed Kabras Sugar. He played for the Sugarmen in the 2013/2014 Western Nationwide league, a season they went unbeaten and got promoted to Kenya Cup at their first time of asking.
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Amunya would go under for three years, featuring for the nationwide side, Eldoret RFC before coming back home again where it all started but this time with MMUST. He has now featured for the University side for close to 2 seasons, a place where he was given the scholarship to study a course in Information Technology. Amunya, who is also an ardent lover of video games, draws his inspiration from Leonard Mugaisi and Ugandan star Philip Wokorach.
“Being here(MMUST) is a very fantastic experience because we have a chance to pursue both our talents and academics. I always look up to two players Leonard Mugaisi and Philip Wokorach. They have a style of play I have always wanted to emulate and even try at times. Their composure on the pitch and confidence is on another level,” the MMUST utility back added.
Being one of the older guys at MMUST, Amunya plans to nurture the talent that is coming through from high school so as to ensure a constant supply of quality players for Masinde Muliro Uni.
“My target is to develop the upcoming players through nurturing them and setting good examples and of course to climax with an appearance for the Kenya SimbaXVs”
“I have learnt many lessons but the greatest of them all is humility, hard work and teamwork. I think everyone can achieve great things with sheer determination and a little luck,” he concluded.