The national golf team is aiming to put an end to the 11-year East African Golf Challenge title drought when the 18th edition tees off on October 25 and runs until 29 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Rwanda has been a regular participant in the annual tournament since 2005 when the Rwanda Golf Union was incorporated into the East African Golf Federation; however, they are yet to win the competition that involves the finest amateur golfers from the region.
The East African Golf Challenge attracts Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia—it is staged on a rotational basis across member countries. This will be the first time for Ethiopia to host it.
The Rwandan team for this year’s tournament is under the guidance of Ernest Ndayisenga, who is taking the players through daily training at the Par-9 Kigali golf course in Nyarutarama.
“This year we have a strong and talented team like no other past editions, I have full confidence in them and I hope we can really push for it (title) this time round,” Ndayisenga told Times Sport.
Ndayisenga, who is Rwanda’s number three among the professional players, took charge of the team in July this year after former coach and progolfer Emmanuel Ruterana (number two) left the country to United States for a golf training course.
He noted, “We have players who now see golf as a career unlike the recent year’s where many players never took the sport seriously, the mindset has completely changed and each player is eager to take their career to another level, which is motivating factor.”
The players that are going to represent the country include; Emmanuel Nkurunziza, Aloys Nsabimana, Leonard Nkurunziza (team captain), Francois Habimana, Celestin Nsanzuwera, James Ndikumana, Emmanuel Rutayisire, Patrick Uwumukiza and Aphrodis Nyirinkwaya.