Rugby coaching in the country is set to improve following the launch of training programmes by the Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF) and its partners. The federation CEO, Jimmy Adams Mugabo has said.
This comes after years of relying on playing experience and trainers with World Rugby Level 1 coaching certificate, who are the majority at club level and in high school.
Nine coaches from seven league clubs and one high school trainer started a Level 2 Training Course recently at Amahoro national stadium, conducted by Kenyan Eric Situma, the regional Rugby Development Officer (RDO) with Africa Rugby, the game’s continental ruling body.
The coaches, who attended the training include; Adolphe Mahata Ntintenguha (Kamonyi Pumas), Jean Leonard Ngabo (Tumba Jaguars), Joseph Nsezimana (ETM Mukingi), Serge Shema (Thousand Hill RFC), Livingstone Muhire (Muhanga RFC), Tharcisse Kamanda (Kigali Sharks), Claude Mudaheranwa (U.R Grizzlies), Jimmy Adams Mugabo (Thousand Hills RFC), Jean Baptiste Itanzi (Remera Buffaloes).
Situma, a former Kenya international full-back said there is passion, commitment and awareness about the game among the coaches, who are also players for their respective clubs.
“The ones who are really committed, and serious with their coaching career will follow up with the content and fill up their six-week diary”, noted Situma.
The coaches have six weeks to make a report and videos of their coaching sessions, which will be assessed before they can get the Level 2 certificate.
This is a follow-up to another Level 1 coaching workshop that 25 coaches from around the country attended in May at the Kacyiru SOS Children’s Village — it was conducted by Ugandan Robert Bwali, an educator with World Rugby.
“The coaches didn’t have enough knowledge, they have just been coaching the basics of the game,” says Mugabo, who is also a coach for league club, Thousand Hills.
He noted that the numbers are still low, which is why, the beneficiaries are expected to share the knowledge they have attained, with high school coaches and players in their respective regions.
With the new skills acquired from the training, Mugabo expects the upcoming 2015/16 national league to be better and with more professionalism than in previous years.
Among the new issues raised at the sessions was players’ safety, “The coaches have been trained in administering basic fast aid to players,” says Mugabo.
Another major issue addressed is concussions, which can easily occur due to the nature of the game; previously players with clear signs of concussions have been allowed to continue playing at club and high school level.
“It will no longer be about risking your brain so that your team can win a game. If a player is injured, it isn’t the coach’s decision, it is the doctor to decide whether they go back to the field or not,” Mugabo explained.