Rwanda’s representatives at this year’s African Club Championship; APR basketball Club are in relaxed mood after landing financial support from the government.
APR’s Kenyan coach Cliff Owuor disclosed to Times Sport that the government through the Sports Ministry has agreed in principle to foot the biggest part of the club’s budget for the 10-day competition that unfolds on December 13 in Luanda, Angola.
According to Jean Pierre Karabaranga, the Secretary General in the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport, it’s the government’s commitment to facilitate transport costs for any local team engaging international competition.
“The norm is that the ministry meets transport costs for any team or club representing the country in a continental event. In the football discipline, we have done it for APR, Atraco, Rayon Sports, in volleyball, we have done it UNR, KVC so there is no reason why we can’t do it for the APR basketball club,” Karabaranga said.
While Owuor said, “I have learnt that the Sports Ministry has agreed to foot the team’s travel expenses and we can’t be more grateful to the government for this intervention.”
“The support is timely because it has come when the club needs it most. This is a very big competition and it is very ideal for the team to spend much of its time focusing on the competition rather than soliciting for funds,” Owuor pointed out.
APR has been preparing for the championship since early November despite failing to qualify for this year’s national league play-offs. It is the first time that the 2005 and 2006 National league champions had failed to qualify for the play-offs since the system was introduced to local basketball back three years ago.
With barely two weeks before the competition gets underway, the local giants have intensified their preparations. The team is now having two practise sessions at Amahoro Indoor stadium.
On a further brighter note, Owuor has been boasted by the return Aboubacar Barame, Mputu Badibanga and Jean de Dieu Umutoni ‘Mutombo.
The trio has been out with injuries but they started light training on Tuesday according to their Kenyan trainer.