EDITORIAL: Let's support local volleyball

Last weekend, the men’s national volleyball team qualified for this year’s All Africa Games set for September 5-19 in Congo Brazzaville. That they qualified after overcoming a strong Kenyan side, an improved Ugandan outfit and a stubborn Burundian side displayed the results of hard work and determination by the Rwanda Volleyball Federation (FRVB).

Last weekend, the men’s national volleyball team qualified for this year’s All Africa Games set for September 5-19 in Congo Brazzaville.

That they qualified after overcoming a strong Kenyan side, an improved Ugandan outfit and a stubborn Burundian side displayed the results of hard work and determination by the Rwanda Volleyball Federation  (FRVB).

Years of investment in a competent youth system with a foundation in talent identification in schools across the country, the expertise presented by Kenyan volleyball legend Paul Bitok and the tireless efforts by the FRVB staff has seen volleyball earn a place among Rwanda’s elite sports disciplines like cycling.

Just like the Kenyans and Ethiopians have dominated long distance running, the Americans swimming and Jamaicans short distance running, Rwandans can envision a truly national sport in volleyball.

With more investment in infrastructure, coach education and talent identification through sponsorship from the private sector, a lot can be achieved.

Companies ought to come on board and join in the support of volleyball, not just the national team but rather the development of the sport across the country.

Let’s have stadiums built in each of the 30 districts across the country, largely through the sponsorship of private companies and with results in the region, on the continent and on the international scene, these companies will attain visibility. Volleyball will be their brand ambassador and one for the country too. It is a win-win situation for both parties.

Government, through the Ministry of Sports and Culture, has done a great job in recent years but a lot can still be done.

 Let us own the team and together contribute towards a sport that will bring pride to Rwanda and raise the flag at the continental and international level.

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