NYANZA - A sports centre, worth Rwf80 million, was on Saturday inaugurated in Nyanza District. The centre, whose construction was mainly sponsored by the Foundation Olympafrica, aims at community development through sports activities.
The centre comprises two main premises which are composed of basketball, handball, and volleyball grounds while another is composed of a mini-football ground and athletics track.
Officiating at the inauguration, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Joseph Habineza commended the initiative and challenged Nyanza residents to exploit the centre to develop their talents.
He noted that it was a privilege for the region and particularly called upon young people to take the opportunity to nurture talent and make the country renown internationally.
“This is just the beginning. In the coming years, we are expecting to see athletes from Nyanza, who trained on this track, raise the flag of our country on the international scene,” Habineza said, urging residents to practice sports for social and healthy reasons.
“Sports make one have good health, respect his neighbours …It also helps develop a critical thinking and is a tool of conflict resolution.”
Thierno Diack, the Olympafrica Chief Executive Officer, urged residents to take good care of the centre.
“This centre is not ours, it is yours. So, it is up to you to protect and keep it safe and usable,” Diack advised.
Nyanza residents expressed happiness and vowed to use the centre for entertainment and talent development.
“We have been waiting for a place like this; even those who used to say that there is no place for sports will come here. This is a wonderful opportunity for us young people to show our ability in various sporting domains,” said Emmanuel Niyomugabo, a local resident.
Olympafrica Nyanza was meant to have been completed last year, but this was not possible because the National Olympic Committee wanted a bigger project that would benefit the youth and the local community in Nyanza District, while the sponsors were reluctant to part with a large amount, according to the Rwanda National Olympic Committee (RNOC) representative, Dr. Charles Rudakubana.