The Ministry of Sports and Culture has urged all sports federations to focus on youth promotion and development in order to produce future athletes capable of bringing glory to Rwanda.
During a press briefing held at the Ministry’s offices at Amahoro National Stadium on Friday, Minister Julienne Uwacu said that all national federations should shift focus to grassroots and youth development programmes.
“Federations, and clubs should initiate academies and youth sports programmes that are in line with the country's sports development vision. These academies will produce players who will be elevated to the top teams.”
The Minister also stressed that, they (ministry) and the federations will then be able to make follow ups and visit these academies, so that they can identify the challenges as well as find solutions to the existing problems.
Commenting further on the issue of academies, minister Uwacu said that, all existing academies cannot be sponsored by the government, instead respective federations have to look for other sources of funding.
She noted that, “Academies which have reached that level should make sure that they function well so that they can attract sponsors.”
During the same function, Rwanda Cycling Federation president, Aimable Bayingana said the fruits from boosting cycling are there for all to see.
FERWACY has initiated the Rwanda Cycling Cup aimed at detecting young and upcoming riders that can represent the country.
“We have encouraged the cycling clubs to compete in this annual event using both girls and boys so that they can identify young and upcoming cyclists,” he said.
Desire Mugwiza, the local basketball federation president disclosed that the federation organises youth training camps for both girls and boys during holidays to detect talent.
In 2012, the government initiated the Sports Development Policy whose vision is to achieve sports excellence at the individual, community and national level.
One of the primary objectives is to introduce a system that encourages and fosters the identification, and development of young talent.
The initiative sets the ‘inspirational target’ that, by 2020, the nation should have “a higher percentage of population playing sport than in any other African nation, and to be ranked a mong the top three African countries in every major sport.