Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Community (RNOSC) have argued local sports federations to seek for other sources of funding for the Rio Olympic Games preparations—the 2016 Summer Games are scheduled for August 5-21 in Brazil.
This follows claims by the federations for the government’s inaction and delay to support athletes’ preparations ahead of the games.
Speaking to Times Sport, RNOSC second vice president Elie Manirarora, who is also the Chef de Mission for Rio Games said, “We understand that these are Olympic Games but some of these athletes don’t necessarily have to go to Europe because we the have hills and climate that suits their training.”
“We have the landscape that is suitable for the Mountain Bike preparations. We have sponsored two marathon runners to North Korea to seek qualification to Rio, and we shall send (the qualified) to Eldoret training camp in Kenya, then put all of them in camp two weeks before departure to Brazil.”
The Chef de Mission claims that since some of the federations receive support from other partners; “We don’t see why they shouldn’t continue with that trend since preparing for such bigger international events also calls for the individual and personal sacrifice on the part of the respective federations.”
Among the qualified athletes for the Rio Games, are two marathon runners; Claudette Mukasakindi and Jean Baptiste Simukeka as well two cyclists; a Janvier Hadi (road) and Nathan Byukusenge (Mountain Bike).
According to Cycling federation officials, Byukusenge, who qualified for the Olympic XCO MTB, requires US$29,914 (Rwf23, 154,684) and Hadi, who qualified for the road race, needs US$17,070(Rwf13, 212,892).
They claim these two budgets were submitted to RNOSC on November 2015 and February 2016 respectively while the Athletics Federation (RAF) is seeking approximately Rwf24 million.
RAF secretary general, Johnson Rukundo stated that, “Upon confirmation that our athletes had qualified, we sent the names and budget to the National Olympic Committee, who are in charge of funding the athletes’ preparations for the Olympics.”
Rwanda has competed in eight summer Olympic Games but Team Rwanda performances have been a huge disappointment as they have failed to win any medal.
Most athletes have attributed the poor performance of Team Rwanda to lack of adequate preparation, poor management of athletes, and incompetence in the sports federations.