RAF launches kids athletics programme

THE RWANDA Athletics Federation (RAF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and Culture and Ministry of Education has introduced a four-year athletics programme targeting primary school children in a bid to develop the sport from the grassroots.

THE RWANDA Athletics Federation (RAF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and Culture and Ministry of Education has introduced a four-year athletics programme targeting primary school children in a bid to develop the sport from the grassroots.

The programme is aimed at introducing athletics to children between the age of seven and 12 in order to interest them in the sport. The athletics body is targeting kids in three age categories; 7-8 years, 9-10 years and 11-12 years old.

According to the RAF president Jean Damascene Nkezabo, this is an attractive, accessible and instructive programme aimed specifically for children.

Hundreds of children were invited to Amahoro stadium alongside their parents on Sunday morning and taught about the essence of the programme and received equipment too.

The activities include sprinting/running, jumping and throwing in multi-event sessions, event group development and specialization according to the different age groups.

The target number of children by 2018 is an estimated 18,000 who will be trained in track and field events at their level.

This initiative is set to help raise young and talented children, increase the number of coaches as well as involve several institutions that are stakeholders in the development of the sport. The programme also aims at promoting healthy living among young children.

This is seen as a foundation that will ensure a steady and sustainable development policy in the growth of athletics in the country. 

This programme was launched by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) in 2005 and is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes worldwide.

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