One of the least articulated aspects of the deal between Arsenal FC and Rwanda Development Board is the bit where Rwanda is to host training clinics where coaches from Arsenal will pass on some technical skills to the young players and officials in Rwanda. A lot of airtime has gone into what the deal means for tourism in Rwanda and how Rwanda is ready to host more visitors and show off the Big Five and the mountain gorillas and more. Allan Brian Ssenyonga I believe the conversation about young people being involved in football and sports in general also needs to be elevated. We are living in very interesting times where top sportsmen and women are earning so much money from their talent and we are blessed to be able to follow most of their exploits. Almost every trading centre has that spot where many go to watch an English Premier League game or a Champions League game. The same will happen when the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia next week. Many have renewed their TV subscriptions not to miss out on the biggest sports event. Others with entertainment spots have prepared their projects and wide screens to make sure patrons can enjoy the game as they keep the bar as busyas possible. At the same time, those running betting shops are also getting ready to cash in from those who will be placing bets on games they have no control over. Many times when I move outside the cities I find myself thinking about how for example beverage companies manage to make sure that their products get to every corner of the country. These days I think of the same regarding sports betting shops that can be found at every small nook of the country. I contrast this with how government struggle to get services to these same places. I am talking medical services, clean water or decent schools. However since we are talking about sports here I also always think about the availability and distribution of sports facilities. A country’s visibility is easily boosted by a smart deal with a top football club but also from facilities that expose its talented young people to growth opportunities. It always pains me when I read about so called developers grabbing sports grounds to build shopping malls or apartment blocks. Sometimes it is the sports administrators that get greedy. For example in Uganda, the National Council of Sports decided to rent out the main cricket oval at Lugogo to a church that will be holding prayers on the grounds every Tuesday for the next two years! I am glad that the Inspector General of Government has stepped in to stop this deal. One of the reasons why our countries remain mediocre at sports is the lack of facilities. The few in place are being snatched by ‘developers’ who never seem keen to find other places to develop or being rented out to evangelical churches that collect millions in offerings but are not keen to build their own spaces. This lack of sports facilities ultimately means many of our young people will forever be passive when it comes to sports. They will either end up in sports betting shops or in a sitting position to watch and cheer those who had access to good sports facilities. Cycling has thrived in Rwanda partly because the roads are great and the boys have gone on to conquer and become a force to reckon especially on the continent. We need these sports facilities in our communities not only to develop talent but also keep young people busy while others can use them for fitness purposes. You know that occasional game by folks who think they used to be good enough to represent the country at the game only to spend the next few days with aching muscles. The sports world offers very many opportunities for our young people but we shall not get the next Victor Wanyama, Mbwana Samatta, Henry Osinde, Francine Niyonsaba, Adrien Niyonshuti or Hasheem Thabeet when we are not creating for them spaces to discover and nurture these talents. We already have a huge challenge of youth unemployment and good sports facilities could serve to address this issue with many finding that they are talented enough to live off their talents. These conversations where we are constantly asking young people to be job creators and not job seekers should also extend to providing them space to play. Email: email@example.com Blog: www.ssenyonga.wordpress.com Twitter: @ssojo81 The views expressed in this article are of the author.