KRU chairman, Mwangi Muthee told a requiem mass in Nairobi that renaming the tournament would be a perfect tribute for the 27-year-old captain who sustained a spinal injury on the field of play in the first leg of the event in Kampala.
“We are in talks with the Uganda rugby Union to change the ladies Elgon cup to Abedeen Memorial cup in her honour and we’ll have this in place probably before the next event next year,” said Muthee said at the requiem service held at the friends International Church along Ngong Road,Monday.
Uganda’s high Commissioner to Kenya, Angelina Wapakhabulo read a tribute from the Ugandan Ministry of State for Education and Sports, Charles Bakabulindi called for fair play sports to curb on fatal injuries.
The International Rugby Board, IRB chairman, Bernard Lapasett also sent a condolence message to the family of Abedeen who until her sudden death had won 16 cups with the national 7’s and 15’s teams.
“When such things happen we put ourselves under a microscope and try to improve, her death makes us take a close look at the game and see what we did wrong,” admitted Muthee as he fought back tears.
Abedeen’s family plans to set up the Abedeen Shikhoyi Memorial Foundation that would focus on charity and also help raise funds for women injured in the cause of sport.
“We plan to put up a memorial foundation that will champion the welfare of women involved in all types of sports in their country and also support her charity work that she begun in Mathare.
No woman should get hurt while playing a game she liked so much and just go like that,” said Jamin Muliru, Abedeen’s brother.
“My sister died while doing what she liked most and that ‘s what we are proud of as a family. She met her death while fighting for her country-that is even a bigger motivation,” added her elder brother, Livingstone Muliru who asked KRU to help in elevating the women’s game.
Tributes also poured in for the former Mwamba invaders forward from her former teammates and coach who described her as ‘a disciplined and hardworking player,both on and off the pitch.
“Abedeen was a player who trained hard and always did her assignment on time no matter what was at stake even during hard times, “noted Sammy Kemmey, the Kenya women’s head coach.
Abedeen who passed away on April 28 after a week of hospitalisation at the Nairobi Hospital, captained Kenya since 2010,and led her team the Elgon cup the following year and the 2011 Safari sevens title.
The aggressive forward who had also captained the lady’s team to three editions of the Dubai sevens suffered a spinal injury during the first leg match in Kampala on April 21.
She was airlifted to Nairobi where she underwent surgery a day later. She will be buried at the her family home in Kasavai village, Ikolomani Constituency, Kakamega District on May 12.