Rwanda could be represented in unfamiliar sports like hockey and badminton at the 15th Brookside East African Post-Primary Games (FEASSSA) in Kenya in August, 2016.
The development was confirmed to Times Sport on Monday by the Rwanda School Sports Federation (RSSF) technical director, Aaron Rurangirwa.
Should Rwanda field badminton and hockey teams at the 2016 edition, it will increase chances of winning more medals at the annual regional inter-secondary schools championships.
“Few schools (in Rwanda) have badminton and one has started hockey so far, so we need to support these schools so that the two sports can do well in the shortest time possible,” Rurangirwa noted.
He added that they also plan to put extra effort in athletics, netball and swimming in order to give Rwandan teams a good chance to do well against their counterparts from Kenya and Uganda, who have dominated these particular disciplines.
The news of Rwanda competing in hockey and badminton comes a week after the climax of this year’s Games staged in Huye and Gisagara districts from August 16 to 23 where hosts Rwanda finished third overall behind Kenya (first) and Uganda, who came in second place.
Kenya won 27 medals, including 9 gold medals; second-placed Uganda won 23 including 6 gold medals while Rwanda won 13 medals won in total including 6 golds. Burundi finished fourth with 3 gold medals, Tanzania fifth with one gold medal while South Sudan left empty-handed.
“Last year in Dar-es-Salaam, Rwanda won one title (girls’ football), but this time round they turned tables to claim six. This proves that East Africa has got talents all over, it’s only a matter of nurturing them,” said the FEASSSA president Justus Mughisha.
Rwanda, who were hosting the competitions for the second time since 2008, won gold medals in handball (both genders), volleyball (both genders), rubgy 7s and boys’ tennis.
The 2011 champions GS Indangaburezi beat holders Kwanthanze of Kenya in five sets (3-2) to claim the girls’ volleyball crown as determined Rusumo High School over-hustled 2013 winners Malava also from Kenya in four sets (3-1) to clinch the boys’ title.
In tennis, Team Rwanda led by 16-year old Ernest Habiyambere, claimed gold in boys’ (singles and doubles) category and silver in the girls’ category behind winners Kenya. Rwanda also finished second in table tennis, behind Kenya.
Rwandan sides ETENI Gisenyi (boys) and Lycée de Kigali (girls) beat Makongo (Tanzania) and Saint Brigid (Kenya) to win bronze medals in basketball.
However, Rwandans notably performed poorly in certain disciplines such as netball, swimming, athletics and football.
The 15th edition of the East African Post-Primary Games will be staged in Kenya next year, five years after hosting the 2011 show in Nakuru.