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Treu takes Kenya Sevens reins

Wed, 23 Oct 2013 16:08
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Olympic qualification will be Treu’s absolute target
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The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of South African coach Paul Treu as head coach of the Kenya Sevens side.

Treu, formerly head coach of the Springbok Sevens team, will take up the post by November 1 and will be joined by his South African assistant, Vuyo Zangqa.

Both men have contracts with the South African Rugby Union running until October 31.

Treu's contract as head coach and Performance Director runs until 2016 and the ambitious programme aims to climax with the country’s participation in the Olympic Games, held that year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Olympic qualification will be Treu’s absolute target, over and above achieving regular top ranking results in the IRB Sevens World Series.

As well as Zangqa (attack coach), Treu’s technical bench will include other compatriots in Graham Bentz (strength and conditioning, sports science) and Dr Karen Schwabe (sports medicine), who will take up her appointment in Nairobi on January 1, 2014.

Kenyans will continue to form a key part of the team's structure. Felix Ochieng’ (assistant coach), Humphrey Kayange (player/coach), Lamech Bongeri (physiotherapist) and Steve Sewe (team manager) will all form part of Treu's staff, while Michael Owino and Geoffrey Kimani will assist Bentz. Other individuals are also being targeted to work with the team.

“We had an eye-opener when Mike Friday and Chris Brown took our team right to the top in just one season. We thank them for giving us a taste of professionalism and success and we have no option other than to build on that," said KRU chairman, Mwangi Muthee.

The KRU has also reached an agreement with Treu that local coaches and sports science experts will be able to permanently study under the Kenya Sevens programme.

“They will register with the KRU and will be provided with access to Treu’s training sessions. Our intention is to create a pool of local experts and that in about five years we shall be able to export abroad, expertise across the board.

“It is our intention that money and resources spent on the three-year ‘Operation Rio’ programme will greatly impact on transfer of expertise from our international partners [South Africa] to Kenya.”

The most highly paid staff in “Operation Rio” will be Treu himself who will be earning a nett monthly salary of R108,000 ($11,000 or Sh935,000).

He will also receive; four economy class air tickets for Cape Town-Nairobi-Cape Town  per contractual year and three economy tickets for Nairobi-Johannesburg-Nairobi per year, allowances while on the IRB Series tour and while in Kenya be provided with a car, housing, fuel, medical insurance and  paid-for WIFI, mobile telephone services.

On top of that, success of “Operation Rio” coming at the end of the three-year contacted period will result in healthy bonuses.

Upon the Kenya Sevens team’s qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games, some members of Treu’ South African technical team, for example attack coach Zangqa, will receive R2,475,000 ($250,000 or Sh21m) nett.

Upon the team winning a bronze medal, Zangqa will get R490,000 ($50,000 or Sh4.5m); upon the team winning a silver medal, R980,000 ($100,000 or Sh8.5m) and upon the team getting a gold medal, R2,475,000 ($250,000 or Sh21m).

The rest of the teams’ bonuses will be negotiated through the sponsors and the government of Kenya. KRU is taking an insurance policy to cover for the bonuses. These bonuses will be paid not less than seven days after the team attains those achievements.

Treu steered the Springbok Sevens team to their first ever IRB Sevens World Series title in the 2008/2009-season as well as 14 tournament wins overall. A more professional and structured approach led to the establishment of a full-time, contracted national Sevens squad and a permanent training base in Stellenbosch.

As a former Springbok Sevens captain (24 tournaments, 70 tries), Treu had the experience and knowledge to take the code to another level. He has since coached the side in a total of 83 World Series tournaments, winning in Singapore (2004), London (2005, 2011), Paris (2006), Dubai (2006, 2008), Adelaide (2008, 2009), George (2008), Las Vegas (2011, 2013), Edinburgh (2011), Tokyo (2013) and Glasgow (2013).

Treu, a Masters graduate in Educational Psychology, also took the team to Sevens World Cups in Hong Kong and Dubai and the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and Delhi, where the team won the bronze medal in 2010.

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