Of late, a lively debate has been going on among our readers. The subject of the matter was the state of sports development in the country with many shifting blame to sports leadership.
The country has had mixed results with its most popular game; football. It gets the lion’s share of the sports budget but has little to show for it.
Basketball, volleyball and cycling, on the other hand, are where the country has excelled. Why? Simple, there is no shortage of training facilities.
Both basketball and volleyball do not need extensive facilities and cycling has the whole country’s road network to explore.
Football, just like rugby or cricket, require large playing fields and lawns, and that is a very rare commodity in this country, especially in Kigali.
According to the Kigali City Master plan, 50% of the capital is unsuitable for playing fields; it is either too sloppy (31%) or wetlands (21%). Put aside the current urban areas and you are left with about 30% developable land.
With land being a problem in the city, it is difficult to imagine the leadership putting aside land for football fields yet there are more pressing issues like housing.
But as had been suggested earlier by one of the parties to this debate, city authorities should direct developers not to use all their land, they should set aside place for recreational activities.
Our children need somewhere to play, where to develop talent seeing that even schools lack playing fields.
Our football craze will at least have a fighting chance.