Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu has flagged off the national team to this year’s Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.
The function held Friday afternoon at the ministry’s headquarters, attracted officials of Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) and the national team delegation.
The Rwanda Commonwealth team which will be represented by 17 athletes is expected to start a week-long residential camp this week before they depart to Australia next week.
Athletics, Beach Volleyball and Paralympic powerlifting teams will head to Gold coast this month while cycling team will travel in the first week of April.
Minister Uwacu wished the athletes good luck and encouraged them to work collectively as team to make Rwanda proud. The team will be led by cyclist Joseph Areruya, who will carry the national flag.
“It’s not professional to find anyone with intentions of escaping on national duty while competing in such competitions,” she cautioned the athletes.
RNOSC president, Ambassador Valens Munyabagisha noted it will first time for Rwandan players will competing in an international competition during the commemoration week where country remembers victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
“We didn’t have a role to schedule the competition dates but we have asked the organizers to let our teams to have a moment to remember on April 7 and to wear a black ribbon as a sign of remembrance in each game,” said Amb. Munyabagisha.
A total of 17 athletes across four different sporting disciplines will carry the country’s quest for a historic first Commonwealth Games medal. Rwanda will have representatives in cycling, athletics, beach volleyball and Para-Powerlifting.
The 21st edition of Commonwealth Games will attract over 6600 athletes representing 70 countries and territories in 18 sports and 270 medal events.
Rwanda made her debut in the quadrennial event eight years ago in New Delhi, India, and her second appearance in 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. However, no Rwandan athlete was able to manage a podium finish at either edition.
Full Rwanda Team
Athletics: Nyirarukundo Salome, Nizeyimana Alexis, Sugira James, Nishimwe Beatha, Ishimwe Alice and Tuyishime Christophe
Beach Volleyball: Nzayisenga Charlotte and Mutatsimpundu Denyse
Cycling: Areruya Joseph, Ndayisenga Valens, Ukiniwabo Jean Paul Rene, Uwizeye Jean Claude, Uwizeyimana Bonaventure, Munyaneza Didier, Ingabire Beatha, Manizabayo Magnifique
Para Powerlifting: Niyonzima Vedaste.