Special Olympics to expand operations

Special Olympics Rwanda (SOR) is set to train more local coaches in order to start operating in all part of the country starting next year.

According to national director Anaclet Ruzindana, Special Olympics Rwanda has been operating in only 15 districts in all the four Provinces and Kigali city.

The voluntary organization that deals with persons with mental disabilities has been operating in areas including Nyarugenge, Kicukiro, Gasabo (Kigali city); Rulindo, Musanze, Gakenke, Gicumbi (Northern Province); Kamonyi, Muhanga, Huye, Nyanza (Southern Province); Bugesera (Eastern Province) as well as Ngororero, Rutsiro and Rusizi in the Western Province.

Ruzindana said the number of players has increased from last year’s 4.450 to 6.000 this year and that plans are underway to increase the number of coaches from the current 207 to about 400 by the end of next year.

SOR national director noted that the population and institutions have started to realise the advantages the games have to the country and the mentally disabled individuals in particular and called on for more support.

“Special Olympics Rwanda is a voluntary organization which should be supported so that the country’s benefit.

“This will help in developing disabled individuals to realize their potentials in sports,” said Ruzindana, adding that, “Improving their lives is improving the society as well.”

He applauded MTN and Plan Rwanda for their continued support and urged other companies to sponsor Special Olympics.

The officials attributed the increasing number of players to continuous campaigning and sensitizing done by coaches in various places.

He also thanked parents of disabled children for sending them instead of hiding them as it was the case previously.
Ruzindana said that the Ministry of Education has appreciated the games and Special Olympics is waiting to be included in the ministry’s budget in order to promote their programs in schools countywide.