Back in the day, TM would name the KCB squads on Thursday evening ahead of Saturday’s Kenya Cup and Eric Shirley Shield fixtures.
After Mike Shamiah and myself would shout “yes!” as an expression of relief at making the match day squads, TM’s announcement would end with a rider – LET’S MEET AT 2.00PM….COME WELL FED!
Now, that well fed part was a problem.
One would leave home well fed on game day, eager to heed TM’s words 38 or so hours earlier.
Nobody ever prepared you for a stitch or acute thirst 22 minutes into the first half of your match.
There was the additional hazard of having the contents of whatever you partook of for lunch spilling out during high impact collisions, mostly tackles.
And if you didn’t leave home well fed…you would drift in and out of the game…energy levels dipping ever so quickly. This would probably lead to a substitution and a period in limbo…not knowing if you will return for Kenya Cup or Eric Shirley.
Then, we also had those guys who could not operate without Friday night…
What a time it was to be alive!
No physios, no strength and conditioning coaches….just a bunch of enthusiastic young men and committed leaders out to play a game of rugby, win
and enjoy the third half.
Water, for example, was the cure it all. It had a placebo effect…it is what was administered after a knock, a dislocation…but definitely not after a concussion.
Strapping was still an alien concept back then, bandages and knee supports the tools of the trade.
Fast forward to the present, and it is quite amazing how sport has evolved.
Looking at current strides in nutrition, strength and conditioning, one can’t help but reminisce how back in the day, guys would feast on ugali nyama before a match
, with management chipping in, ” tukule lakini tusishibe sana.”
Come 4.30pm and you, the fastest guy on your team, would be running with the handbrake on, well fed!
Other guys would push serious weights on the morning of a game, the fatigue showing later that afternoon.
Most teams these days have physios, conditioning coaches and other specialists on their technical bench. It is quite encouraging that rugby and many other sporting disciplines have embraced modern and scientific methods to better performances of their players and teams.
Not too sure if TM’s still tell their players to come well fed….