The National women sitting volleyball team on Monday begun a 10-day residential training camp at National Paralympics Committee (NPC) Gymnasium ahead of their debut in the 2016 Rio Paralympics Games set for September 7-18 in Brazil.
The team of 12 players is currently undergoing daily rigorous training under the guidance of assistant coach Jean-Marie Nsengiyumva. The training will end on August 30, a day before the team fly to Rio de Janeiro for their historic appearance as the first African women team at the world’s biggest quadrennial event.
“This final camp is aimed at helping players get into the mood of the competition and build their match rhythm,” said Nsengiyumva.
This is the first time Africa is sending a women sitting volleyball team to the Paralympics as Rwanda will be the sole representative. As hosts, Rwanda made history at the ParaVolley Africa Sitting Volleyball Championships in July last year, coming from behind to beat Egypt 3-2 in the gold-medal match.
The team has held several training camps outside Africa including Slovenia, China and Netherlands.
Rwanda is drawn in group B alongside the top two ranked teams, China (1) and USA (2) as well as Iran while hosts and world No.4 side Brazil are in Pool A together with Ukraine, Canada and Russia.
Rwanda squad: Liliane Mukobwankawe (Captain), Beatha Nyinawabantu, Providence Nyirantungane, Solange Nyiraneza, Alice Musabyemariya, Carine Kwizera, Yvonne Imanishimwe, Claudine Murebwayire, Claudine Bazubagira, Ange Nyiranshimiyimana, Clementine Umutoni and Sandrine Nyirambarushimana.