Athletes urged to go for regular medical checkups

Sports coaches in various disciplines have urged athletes of all ages to regularly have medical checkups so that they can be sure of their health status.
Tennis player Jean Claude Gasigwa died suddenly while training. Athletes have been urged to have regular medical check-ups. (File)
Tennis player Jean Claude Gasigwa died suddenly while training. Athletes have been urged to have regular medical check-ups. (File)

Sports coaches in various disciplines have urged athletes of all ages to regularly have medical checkups so that they can be sure of their health status.

The caution follows the sudden death of Rwanda’s top tennis Player Jean Claude Gasigwa who collapsed and died while jogging on January 8 at Cercle Sportif sports complex.

Sylvester Rutikanga, a tennis coach at Cercle Sportif said it should be mandatory for athletes to go for medical checkups every month because life is precious and anything can happen at any time.

Nyarutarama tennis club president Damien Ngabonziza said Gasigwa wouldn’t have died if he had been going regular medical checkups.

“He was sick without knowing and yet his sport requires a lot of energy so he died suddenly.”

Former Amavubi Coach Eric Nshimiyimana said that athletes should monitor their health status regularly.

“We put them under a lot of pressure to deliver and they use a lot of energy to achieve that but they should also play a part in knowing their status on a regular basis,” Nshimiyimana said adding that he was saddened by the sudden death of Gasigwa.

National basket ball team coach Moise Mutokambali said generally in Rwandan sport, matters of medical checkup for players are not taken seriously compared to other countries but in basket ball, “we cannot allow you on court before you present your medical report.”

Apart from the Volleyball federation, which pays for medical insurance for all players in the volleyball league, other athletes in different sports disciplines cater for their own medical insurance, something that many never do.

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