The newly elected Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) president, Ambassador Valens Munyabagisha has promised to bring fundamental changes in local sports.
Munyabagisha was elected unopposed during the General Assembly held at Lemigo Hotel on Saturday, with 43 out of 45 votes casted for the presidency position. He replaced Robert Bayigamba.
Elected on his campaign promise of unity, transparency and focusing on youth sports, the former permanent secretary in the now-defunct Ministry of Internal Security vowed to take local sports to the next level.
“As you all know sports lags behind compared to the other growing sectors in this country. This is the reason why we need fundamental change. However, in order to achieve what we all want as the sports fraternity, we must work together,” Munyabagisha said in his acceptance speech.
He added that, “As a new elected committee, we are grateful for the faith that you have put in us. The responsibility given to us is not easy, but we can assure you that we shall deliver as expected, but we need to work together in order to achieve our goals.”
Among the concerns that Munyabagisha promised to tackle is instilling a sporting culture among Rwandans, to build a winning spirit among the youth, to make sure that all federations work jointly and tackle the issue of sports scholarships.
He noted that a winning attitude must be instilled at an early age; he further observed that schools should have a diversity of sports programmes to nurture talent.
Munyabagisha also revealed that he plans to use his office to persuade high schools and universities to offer scholarships to talented students.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Lt. Col. Patrice Rugambwa, who represented the minister, commended the outgoing executive committee led by Bayigamba for what it did over the last four years.
“The job will not be easy,” Rugambwa warned the new committee but nonetheless assured them that, the Ministry is ready to partner with them to take Rwandan sport forward. He also used the occasion to urge federation officials and athletes to be transparent.
Felicite Rwemalika, the head of women football in Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA), was elected as the 1st vice president while Festus Bizimana was unopposed on the position of 2nd vice president, replacing Elie Manirarora.
Former president of National Paralympic Committee-Rwanda, Dominique Bizimana was unchallenged for the post of Secretary General after the incumbent Philbert Rutagengwa pulled out of the race.
Alice Ingabire was unopposed on the post of Treasurer; Garima Hermine and Eugene Nzabanterura were elected as advisors while Josette Umwari was elected as Internal Auditor.
Out of the 32 national sports federations, three namely; University Sport, Golf and Chess were not allowed to vote because they have no legal status, while the Fencing federation missed the election.