A lesson from London Olympic Games
It is sad that Rwanda yet again failed to win any medals at another Olympic Games. The country’s athletes remain mere participants.
If Rwanda has any plans to compete for medals within the next eight years, the country has to start considering a serious and continuous junior athletics programme right at the primary school level.
Most of the Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes started their careers at a tender age. You will be surprised that it is not all about money, elite training locations and unwavering government support but identification and nurturing of talent – that is the first ingredient.
While it is good to prepare for participation in Rio 2016, the long term goal should take precedence. We should soon be hearing of nationwide primary and secondary school athletics championships.
I am also certain that Rwanda can spearhead an East African annual or biennial junior athletics competition. In any case, it is not enough to have customs and other trade arrangements to make the EAC work; culture and sports (beyond football) can play a pivotal role too.
A laptop per child makes very good news but a kilometer per child can also bear fruits and national pride.
Our a thousand hills should be translated to a thousand athletes.