Thousand Kilo’s Women Canoe and Aquatic Sports Swimming Club, in partnership with the Rwanda Swimming Federation, will organise an only-women competition on Saturday at Hill Top Hotel in Remera.
Rwanda Swimming Federation president Samuel Ufitimana Kinimba (inset) told Saturday Sport that the aim of the competition is to encourage and attract more girls and women to take up the sport.
“The goal is to inspire women into swimming. This is a good initiative since it will assist to detect talent from the grass root and elite levels. We also encourage other clubs to follow suit in order to promote and develop women in swimming,” Ufitimana stated.
Six clubs are expected to partake in the competition. They include; Zenith Swimming Club, Vision Jeuness Nouvelle, Muhanzi Canoe Swimming Club, Riviera, Ecole Française and Cercle Sportif de Kigali.
According to Jimmy Ddole, the Technical director of Thousand Kilo’s Women Canoe and Aquatic Club, swimmers will compete in different categories and distances from 50m to 200m freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke.
“The best will be rewarded with prizes that include medals as well as swimming gears so as to encourage them to continue practicing,” he noted.
According to Ufitimana, Thousand Kilo’s Women Canoe and Aquatic Club were offered a green light to organize the competition not only because it is an only-women’s club but also being a member of the national swimming federation and legally registered by Rwanda Governance Board (RGB).
“We have very few female swimmers in the country and we need to see the numbers increase significantly,” Ufitimana explains.
Alphonsine Agahozo represented Rwanda at the London Olympic Games in 2012 but was knocked out in the preliminary rounds, managing to finish third in the women’s 50-meter freestyle heats.
In 2016, at the Rio Olympics, it was Johanna Umurungi, but she also failed to go beyond the heat stages in the women’s 100m butterfly.