Ten regional volleyball clubs are expected to compete at this year’s Genocide Memorial Tournament scheduled for June 6-7 in Kigali.
According to the Rwanda Volleyball Federation Executive Secretary Christian Hatutimana, invitation letters were extended to their counterparts in five countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan who confirmed that they will send two teams.
In an interview with Times Sport yesterday, Hatutimana said, “We are expecting many teams from five or six countries. Five countries have confirmed their participation but we are expecting Kenyan teams to compete in the tournament but they have not yet replied to us. We are going to do our best in terms of preparations.”
Rwanda will be represented by the top four teams in the national volleyball league in both the men and women’s categories including the current league table leaders Rayon Sports, second-placed INATEK, APR in third place and fourth-placed Kigali Volleyball Club (KVC).
However, KVC is in competition with Kirehe Volleyball Club who are trailing by one point with three games to be played before the tournament starts in 10 days.
Defending league champions and table leaders Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) alongside APR, Ruhango and St Aloys will represent Rwanda in the women’s category.
Uganda which is usually represented by many teams is expected to send Kampala Amateur Volleyball Club (KAVC), Sky, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA), Ndejje University, Nemostars, Nkumba University and Sport S with teams in both categories.
Garde Présidentielles [Congo Brazzaville] as well as Burundi’s Rukinzo and Muzinga in men’s category are also expected to take part in the two-day event. Les AS is expected in women’s category.
The annual event held in remembrance of over 46 (known) members of the volleyball fraternity who include players, coaches, and administrators as well as other Rwandans who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis is sponsored by the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee and Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC).
Since 1995, FRVB is one of the federations that has organized annual Genocide memorial tournaments in honour of the victims.
Rayon Sports Volleyball Club defeated APR 3-0 in the final to win the men’s title last year, while in women's category, seven-time African champions, Kenya Pipeline beat Rwanda Revenue Authority 3-0 to be crowned champions.