2014 Safaricom 7s
I’ve always loved sports photography. So when I saw the Safaricom Sevens billboards a couple of weeks ago, I started preparing to be there for Africa’s premier sevens tournament. I applied for my accreditation to be able to shoot from the field but two days to kick-off, I was told it wasn’t approved. I didn’t understand why but I suspect big media houses that post a single photo from any sports tournament were given priority. Responses like these can easily put one off but I didn’t allow it to. I was determined to be there by any means necessary.
So on Friday, the first day of the tournament, I bought myself a lower deck ticket and armed with a borrowed 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, shot from the stands. I loved the very fresh perspective of the game I got shooting from a raised position. What excited me most was being able to frame play sequences with Kasarani’s green providing a great backdrop.
The above shot is a pan taken at 1/30sec f/20 ISO 100. I shot a series of four and this was my best. It encouraged me to return to Safaricom Stadium Kasarani the following day and shoot some more. You can see more action from day 1 here.
On Saturday, I wanted to shoot from the sidelines. But with the organisers being understandably strict on who accessed the pitch, I needed a prayer and a miracle to be there. And that’s what it took. God’s favour got me a media bib and thanks to that, I was able to get closer to the action.
No media pass, no bib, yet this tweeter got onto the pitch!
After the day’s games were over, fans headed for the party at the Safaricom Village while I headed home to rest my sore feet. Check out more of day 2’s action here.
Sunday was the final day of the 3-day tournament. When I got to Kasarani at about 2pm, I had hoped the crowds would have been larger than Saturday’s; however, their cheering kept the games charged.
The Samurai player seems like he was left doing a kuku dance by the Argentinian.
Kenya’s Lionesses were impressive. I caught one of their games on Saturday and this one on Sunday and they were just fantastic. They massaged the Chicago Sirens 47 – nil!
‘Please let’s just play…’
‘Wachana na mimi!’
Loved the expression on this young one’s face as the entertainers took to the stage before the day’s final games kicked off.
The Welsh Warriors emerged tops at this year’s Sevens after coming from behind to beat Argentina 24 – 17.
Check out more day 3 photos here.
This year’s Sevens may not have had as many fans as last year’s, but I felt it was a world-class event, from the attention to detail from the organisers, to the level of security. For once, I didn’t have to keep looking over my shoulder after walking out of the stadium with my camera.