Here’s the thing, I’m not a sports person. No scratch that - I loathe the thing. I know it’s healthy and all that, but the word itself makes me fall into profound depression. I have never understood what fascinates people so much about soccer, or why they obsess about a mere game (don’t stone me), or why it simply never ends.
I feel as though these leagues are in existence to personally torment me, because just when a league has ended and I’m drinking to that, in record time, the bloody season starts again!
I don’t mind basketball, though I won’t disrupt my sweet sleep to watch a game showing at ungodly hours. So, am I really concerned about who plays on national teams, to be seamlessly honest, no! But I think that if it helps, then why not?
One thing I know, we are less experienced, so maybe a little proficiency will do us good. In this very paper, a vox pop suggested that the Amavubi Stars senior team be scrapped. Why? Apparently it is a liability and maybe the junior team will do a better job. True maybe, but under the same coaching skills, the junior team is also doomed!
Let’s face it, we need help. And it shouldn’t matter if that help comes in an American, Turkish, Nigerian or Puerto Rican package! These people have something to bring to the table, and that something is passing on their expertise to our players.
I know some people feel that the money spent on these players is a waste, but it is a small price to pay for victory. If these people can actually play (and are not just wasting our money), they could just help Rwanda shine in a section most people have labeled dead. I stand to be corrected but aren’t these the same people who helped both the women and men’s basketball teams win the Zone V tournament in 2011?
Rwandan sports has struggled to bridge the gap left by a lost generation, with young players supplemented by foreigners coming through to fill the void, this group should be given the chance to shine in the national colours.
Foreigners donning national teams’ colours shouldn’t be castigated but their contribution should be recognised; after all they played and gave the best of themselves for the country’s cause.
In football, South America is known to have great natural talent and enjoys excellent technical development and growth. Europe has less natural talent but rely on theories to compensate for the less talent. Now, if the foreign players from all over are incorporated into national teams’ structures, this would give Rwanda both technique and skill.
Rwandan sports leagues have attracted budding regional talent; regional football stars like; Titus Malama, Hassan Mubiru, Phillip Ssozi and many others who have all traded their skills in the Rwandan football league, mainly with APR.
Save for attracting players in their twilight, the football and basket leagues have continued to appeal to regional stars and this in turn has raised the profile of Rwanda’s sports and image.
Local leagues can now draw sponsors, attract a bigger crowd and improve competition among the clubs. Let’s do this!