Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) president Ambassador Valens Munyabagisha has urged local sports federations and associations to emulate the cycling federation in order to achieve their long term objectives.
Munyabagisha made the call during a courtesy visit paid by all sports federation/association presidents and officials to the Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC) in Musanze last weekend.
“All federations should learn from what FERWACY is doing, like creating strategic work plan and develop programmes to attract sponsorships. Because of this, cycling has put Rwanda on the international map,” he said.
Munyabagisha and his delegation toured the home of Team Rwanda Cycling that has been increased in size to train more Rwandan and foreign cyclists.
While explaining the importance of ARCC, FERWACY president Aimable Bayingana said, the center allows other African countries to send riders for high quality training.
He said, “We house an education center; this is huge because none of our current national team riders have been to secondary school. We teach them languages so that they can be able to communicate, fill in their visa travel forms that permit them to travel and compete in other countries.”
“ARCC is environmental friendly in that we have our own small water treatment facility, a storage facility that can accommodate more than 200 bicycles, a bicycle garage run by mechanical experts and accommodation for cyclists,” Bayingana noted.
Bayingana further explained to other federations that now FERWACY has put emphasis on improving Rwandans’ knowledge in cycling coaching, repairing and to promote cycling through tourism.
“ARRC has fully suited private bungalow houses for travelers to stay and experience living within ARCC,” he revealed, adding that, it has property for coaches, teachers, and managers available to assist any time plus a dining hall, spa and massage room.
The facility is located 4 miles from the entrance to the Volcanoes National Park in Musanze district, Northern Province where you can see the Mountain Gorillas.
Cycling, being one of the most successful stories in Rwanda, the achievements are there for all to see and there is more potential yet to be exploited.
Adrien Niyonshuti and Joseph Areruya as well as 19-year-old Samuel Mugisha, ply their trade for South African-based Continental Pro-Cycling Team, Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Rwanda now qualifies riders to compete in some of the international events like the UCI World Championships and Olympic Games – also Tour du Rwanda has become an international race attracting riders from different parts of the world.
The Confederation of African Cycling has endorsed Rwanda to host the 2018 African Continental Road Championships. It will be the second time for Rwanda to stage the continent’s most prestigious cycling race, the first time was in 2010.
FERWAFA executive committee member in charge of women football, Felicite Rwemalika, who also serves as RNOSC first vice president, was thrilled with cycling federation achievements, saying that the structure is a good example of what others should learn from.
“FERWACY have proved that cycling can become the most successful sport in Rwanda, infrastructure is important if any federation is to develop its sport. That is why other federations should try and emulate. The place is lovely and clean,” she noted.
However, one official, who preferred not to be named, pointed out that there is something to learn from cycling as federation, but to reach that level you need to have the resources.
He said that, “We all have plans to build such infrastructure, but the biggest challenge is luck of resources. Cycling is one of the hugely funded sports by government and other corporate companies. Not all federations get such a privilege.”
Meanwhile, as part of an endeavor to aid other federations to achieve the FERWACY successful story, the RNOSC has established commission programs to co-ordinate activities and enhance operations.
Among them is the Marketing Commission, which is in charge of soliciting for sponsorship, the Media Commission, which is concerned with communication enhancement and management between RNOSC the sports bodies.
The Medical Commission will be tasked to investigate the use of illegal substances by athletes, Sports and Culture Commission will identify and recognize sports personalities from different disciplines.
The Elite Commission was given the task of assisting retired athletes to initiate programs that will and can transition them in the next phase of their lives after retiring.
Technical and Evaluation Commission is now in charge of organizing general technical meetings for all sports bodies, plus overseeing the Olympic Solidarity scholarship program and those who benefit from it.
The Athletics Commission was offered the task to oversee preparations of national athletes to compete in 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas, 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia as well as Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.