SU Sportsline; Rugby Sensation Charles Omondi
When you meet Charles Omondi Owino Likindu, who insisted on being called by all his four names, you get a sense of calm, cheer and intelligence all at once. At age 23, Charles has been a successful rugby player for both Strathmore University and the Kenya team, but above all, a very bright student. He was recognized in the deans list in his first year of Bachelor of Law degree, an achievement he brushes aside, as though to imply it was well expected. Charles attained an outstanding grade A- in his KCSE National Examination, and is currently in his 3rd year of the law degree.
Tell us about yourself
Am the 6th born in a family of 7 children, five boys and two girls.
I picked up sports because I was born into a sporty family. Apart from two of my siblings and my mother, the rest of the family plays some sort of sport either; soccer, rugby, athletics or for my small brother, computer games.
Why did you choose rugby of all sports?
I chose to be a rugby player when I was in class 4 in 2001; I was watching a match highlight and the sport appeared to be interesting and fun. In 2006 when I joined high school at Highway Secondary School I picked up the sport and played for the school team, I also started playing for Kenyas Mwamba team. I then moved schools to Nairobi School in form two where I played for their school team for another year but had to drop Mwamba team because it was difficult to attend practice. In form three I moved schools again and joined Makini School. They did not have a rugby team so for the remaining two years of high school I took a break. When I joined Strathmore in 2009 I picked up rugby in my first year and Ive been playing for the university ever since.
I love rugby, it is a fast game and I enjoy that speed. It is also an easy game for me, it comes naturally but I still thank God am good at it.
How do you balance studying Law and playing Rugby? Both activities are intense
My day involves waking up at 3.30am to read so that I free up my time during the day. At 5.00am I cook my breakfast, I dont eat much of what my family eats. I then head to the gym, I ensure am there between 6.15 6.30am. I train for an hour then attend the days classes.
At the moment rugby does not occupy much of my time. Since end of last year, I stopped playing for the Kenyan team. However, with the Strathmore team, Leos, we do our trainings from 5.30pm and by 8pm am back home to eat and sleep.
When it comes to Law, I try and grasp as much as I can from the lecturers while in class. This habit helps me read less during the day.
How did it feel being the man of the match in the last game you played?
Am not sure how they picked me. At the beginning of the match I was actually yellow-carded, so I was out of the game for ten minutes. I must have really frustrated our opponents to be called the man of the match. I play the flanker position.
After I was told I was the man of the match I was happy, there was money involved and I was grateful for that.
Who is your Sports Role model?
My role model is Juan Manuel Leguizamón, hes an Argentinian player. He plays number 8 flanker which is the same position as mine. Hes playing style is great and I learn a lot from him.
What do you do for your spare time?
I read a lot, not law stuff though, just other books to gain knowledge. I also play chess and sometimes soccer.
Challenges of playing Rugby
I get administrative challenges, especially with the Kenyan team. There are a lot of club politics.
My mother tends to be a bit skeptical about my playing rugby, Im epileptic. However, I was given a doctors go ahead before I started playing the sport. But my mother still worries I might get injured and trigger seizures.
Ive been fine all through. Thank God.
We wish Charles the best in his endeavors.