The 2023 Kayumba memorial volleyball tournament has been scheduled from March 4-5 at Groupe Scolaire Officiel de Butare (GSOB) courts, in Huye. The tournament is held annually in memory of late father Emmanuel Kayumba who passed away in 2009. Kayumba is remembered for his instrumental role in the growth of volleyball among schools, especially at GSOB, during his time as the school headmaster. The likes of Olivier Ntagengwa, Flavien Ndamukunda, former head coach Fidele Nyirimana and Vincent 'Gasongo' Dusabimana are among top players who were introduced to elite clubs after starting their volleyball careers at GSOB under Kayumba’s administration. Ntagengwa is one of key senior national team players who, in 2008, started playing for GSOB team a year after he was admitted to study at the school. The school was at the time playing in the first division national league. Ntagengwa admits he struggled for regular playing time during his debut season because the team was home to a pool of talents with high competitive spirit. However, that didn’t deter him to keep pushing after he realized that working even harder was the only option to get into the first team, which paid off dividends a year later. In 2009, he was named the team captain and the same year led his school to the national inter-schools’ championship and FEASSA titles. His team also finished in fourth position in the national league behind champions APR, first runners-up NUR and second runners-up Kigali volleyball club (KVC). Asked his best memory about Kayumba, Ntagengwa said, “I remember that he loved sports in general but volleyball in particular, because the game we are playing now has roots from the school.” Kayumba has been a very important figure for this volleyball fraternity because it has built many friends in the school which is reputed to have produced important players in the league and in the national team, he added. Until now, Groupe Scolaire de Butare produces the best players who contribute a lot to various teams in the league and in the national teams. The school will be represented at the forthcoming 2023 Kayumba Memorial tournament where they will be competing at home alongside seven other secondary teams. School head coach, Joseph Ndahiro, told Weekend Sport that his boys are ready for this weekend's tournament which, to them, is not just a competition but an occasion to pay tributes to Kayumba in memory of his dedication to promoting the volleyball game at the school. “What I can say is that after the Genocide, late Father Kayumba played a very important role in bringing the volleyball game back to life in general and, the school in particular,” Ndahiro said. I remember in 2008, when we finished in 3rd place in the league, and he loved Volleyball very much and accompanied us to the courts, he recalls. Going international The annual tournament is recognized by the national volleyball governing body (FRVB) which is convinced that Kayumba is owed the credit he deserves thanks to his contribution to the development of the game not just at the school but the country at large. Kayumba, he is a person who played an important role in the important players here in Rwanda. The competition takes place every year in order to give value to his outstanding work in the development of volleyball, federation Secretary General, Philbert Mucyo, said. After 12 successful editions and one more coming over the weekend, Mucyo hinted that Kayumba memorial volleyball tournament could now become international and start attracting foreign teams. That's why we support the competition to take place in collaboration with the school he led to make it happen and we want this competition to be international, he added.