The 2016 national women handball league has been divided into four regional sub leagues in a bid to encourage the development of the sport in the country, according to Rwanda Handball Federation (FERWAHAND).
This year’s league is expected to get underway this Sunday and will for the first time attract a record number of 18 teams from eight different districts that have been split into four sub leagues namely League center, East, North and South.
Sub league center which covers the three districts of Kigali; Kicukiro, Nyarugenge and Gasabo plus Bugesera district has got five teams which are Gorillas handball club, GS Akumunigo, GS Mwendo, GS Kagugu and GS Nkanga.
The Eastern sub league that is solely comprised of Rwamagana district will field three teams which include GS APPEGA Gahengeri, Duha Complex School and GS Rwamashyongoshyon while the Northern which also comprises of teams from Gicumbi district has got six teams which are GS Bisika, GS Mugina, APAPEKI Cyuru, TTC de la Salle, GS NDBC and GS Nyinawimana.
Lastly the Southern sub league which covers Ruhango and Nyanza districts will have four teams; ES Mukingi, TSS Hanika, GS Muyange and Byimana Academy.
In an interview with Times Sport, FERWAHAND secretary General Jean Paul Ngarambe revealed that the new system is part of the federation’s long term project to develop the sport.
“The main advantage of this strategy is to give an opportunity to various teams to compete in the league from their home districts and reduce weekly transport costs to distant venues for games,” he said
He further disclosed that the games in all the sub leagues will be played in a round robin format; first and second leg with the two top teams qualifying for the national quarterfinals which will provide four teams for the semifinals and the winners will head to the national finals.
Apart from the Eastern league that will kickoff this Sunday, other sub league start the following weekend.