RWANDA’s first batch to the 2010 Commonwealth Games leaves the country this evening to New Delhi. The Games are scheduled for October 3-14.
The first batch composed of 26 athletes and officials leaves Kigali for Delhi aboard Ethiopian Airways at 1545. They will have a stop-over in Addis Ababa before connecting directly to Delhi at midnight.
The second batch which is composed of five cyclists and two officials will leave Kigali for Delhi on October 5 ahead of their competition which starts five days later. Rwanda is participating for the first time.
In his send-off message, Sports Minister Joseph Habineza said, “As Rwanda participates for the first time at the Commonwealth Games, our athletes are asked to portray a very good image of our nation showing their discipline, dedication and fair play. You are not going there only to participate but also to win medals.”
The President of Rwanda Olympic Committee, Dr. Charles Rudakubana said, “Rwandans must not panic over growing security concerns in India ahead of Commonwealth Games.”
“We have been working closely to ensure that our team is safe during the Games.
“Our athletes should not worry because we have all the information on what is happening in India.
“We should not be among the pessimists who want to tarnish the image of the Commonwealth Games. Rwanda as a member of the Commonwealth league should show solidarity with India by honoring the Games,” Rudakubana stated.
After getting assurances from the organizing committee of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games on Rwanda’s safety during the commonwealth Games, the 2nd Counsellor, Security Liaison Officer at Rwanda’s embassy in India, Mucyo Rutishisha gave a go-head for the national team to go and participate in the Games.
“Everything is ready and our national team can come and participate in the Games. Security at the athletes’ village and other venues is there to ensure the safety of every one while physical security, response plans for opening and closing ceremonies have also been finalized,” said Rutishisha.
The security issue threatening to derail the Club Games was sparked off by gunmen who opened fire in New Delhi last week, killing two tourists and injuring a few others.