Sports need a new lease of life in 2011

As is with the start of every new calendar year, 2010 started with a lot of expectations for the sports fans but delivered very little in terms of success on and off the fields of play, and as we bid farewell to what has been a less eventful year and welcome 2011, here at Times Sports, we take a look at how each sports discipline fared. Football APART from Sellas Tetteh’s appointment as Amavubi Stars head coach, there is little to write about. The Ghanaian signed a two-year contract in February, replacing the inefficient Croatian Branko Tucak, who failed to realize Ferwafa’s target of having Rwanda play in the 2010 Nations Cup finals in Angola.
L-R : APR striker Kipson Atuhaire was drafted into Amavubi but goals have still proving hard to come about ; Albert Rudatsimburwa ; Dieudonne Disi had a very disappointing 2010.
L-R : APR striker Kipson Atuhaire was drafted into Amavubi but goals have still proving hard to come about ; Albert Rudatsimburwa ; Dieudonne Disi had a very disappointing 2010.

As is with the start of every new calendar year, 2010 started with a lot of expectations for the sports fans but delivered very little in terms of success on and off the fields of play, and as we bid farewell to what has been a less eventful year and welcome 2011, here at Times Sports, we take a look at how each sports discipline fared.
 
Football

APART from Sellas Tetteh’s appointment as Amavubi Stars head coach, there is little to write about. The Ghanaian signed a two-year contract in February, replacing the inefficient Croatian Branko Tucak, who failed to realize Ferwafa’s target of having Rwanda play in the 2010 Nations Cup finals in Angola.

But he has endured a far from impressive start. Apart from qualifying Rwanda to next year’s Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Sudan, it has been a tough going.

The team’s chances of qualifying for the 2012 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon hang on a thread after suffering identical 3-0 defeats against Ivory Coast and Benin in Group H.

For those who don’t know Tetteh, he went into Africa’s football history books after becoming the first coach to guide an African side to the World Cup title. He helped Ghana’s U-20 side- the Black Satellites win the 2009 U-20 World Cup after beating Brazil in the final.

Rwanda fail Cecafa Cup hurdle

Rwanda, who won the competition in 1999, fell to eventual champions Tanzania (0-1) at the quarterfinal stage. Sloppy finishing was Amavubi’s major undoing in Dar es Salaam.

Bralirwa takes over league sponsorship

Bralirwa’s three-year sponsorship package worth Rwf335m to the national football league was the best thing to happen to local football.

The package covered the second half of the 2009/10 season and will go through to the 2011/2012 season. Following their sponsorship, the league is now referred to as ‘Primus National Football League (PNFL).
Through its Coca-cola brand, Bralirwa has also supported the Copa Cola-Cola Inter-school football tournament.

Atraco withdraws from Primus League

This was without doubt one of the lowest moments of 2010. Widely tipped to challenge APR after winning the 2007/8 league champions and 2009 Kagame Cup, Atraco left many soccer fans grieved when they shockingly pulled out of the 2009/2010 league due to financial constraints.
A few weeks later, Electrogaz followed suit.

Rayon Sport take over

Following Rayon Sport’s take over by local media mogul Albert Rudatsimburwa, Blues fans are hoping the club will finally end its five-year trophy drought.

The C-FM boss has made it clear that he wants to revamp the side with a number of new signings, bring back Raoul Shungu (Rayon’s most successful coach) and in the long run build a stadium for the club.

Motorsport

Davite was outstanding in ARC

DAVITE Giancarlo may have lost his national championship crown to Fitidis Christakis but will still feel pleased after finishing second on the FIA Africa Rally Championship charts.

After amassing 104 points, Giancarlo finished second to Jamie Whyte of Zimbabwe who successfully retained his crown after collecting 180 points.

The title was very much within reach for Davite until the penultimate race; the Zambia international rally were he crashed out.

In the KCB East Africa rally Challenge, he finished second to Burundi’s Rudy Cantanhede.

With more than 60 races under his belt (including the famous rallye de Condroz in Belgium), Davite is one of the most experienced drivers in the region.

Handisport

Rwanda wins World Cup

This was by far the highlight of 2010. The national sitball teams defied the odds to win the 2010 Sitball World Cup which was staged in Uganda.

The men’s side edged Germany while their female counterparts outclassed the hosts (Uganda).
It was the first time an African country had won the event.

Big ups to the National Paralympics Committee (NPC) of Rwanda

Cycling

Adrien Niyonshuti typified the fast progress of the sport in Rwanda.

By his own standards, the 23-year-old had a glamorous year after racing alongside cycling greats like Lance Armstrong (seven-time Tour de France champion) and Mark Cavendish (ten-time Tour of Ireland winner) during the 2010 Tour of Ireland.

Niyonshuti’s consistency in mountain bike racing also saw his contract with South African Cycling Club MTN Energade renewed. On top of the traditional Tour of Rwanda, the local cycling federation (Ferwacy) also scored highly after staging the African Continental Road Cycling Race.  

Volleyball

AFTER four years at the helm, APR’s league dominance was finally halted. National University of Rwanda (UNR) sealed a double after lifting the league title and the Carre d’AS trophy while Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) dethroned APR by being crowned league champions.

In beach volleyball, Flavien Ndamukunda and Jean Luc Mbonyuwontuma won the Zonal CAVB Continental Beach Volleyball Cup that was staged in Rubavu.

The junior national volleyball teams also put in a spirited display in the African Youth Volleyball Championship after reaching the semi-finals in both categories.

Two youngsters-Vincent Dusabimana and Christopher Mukunzi also got lucrative contracts with Libyan volleyball club Tersana.

Rugby

Though the national rugby league was hampered by financial constraints that saw the league shortened to just one round, the national men’s rugby team- the Silverbacks had a fruitful year.

Playing in only their first international tournament, the team reached the Bowl final of the Kwoloo 10s in Hong Kong prompting the side’s head coach Gerald Nsenga to lavish praise on the team. “This is a glimpse of better displays to come from the team.”

Silverbacks also cemented their dominance in the CAR15s after winning a record third title in a row.

Cricket

2010 was a productive year for Rwandan cricket. On top of the U-19 cricket team’s runners-up finish in the ICC Africa U-19 Cricket World Cup qualifiers in Swaziland, the local cricket governing body (RCA) marked their 10-year anniversary.

At the event which was held at manor hotel in Nyarutarama, RCA was promised a new ground (a timely gift for local cricket) by Sports Minister Joseph Habineza.

Basketball

It was good to finally see APR’s dominance broken in local basketball as league debutants Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) romped to the league title.

But the eagerly awaited Afrobasket U-18 Kagame Cup ended on a sour note as Rwanda finished a distant 6th in their backyard. Many believe the coaching left a lot to be desired.

Golf

The highlight of the 2010 season was Rwanda hosting the East African Golf Challenge. Unfortunately, the home team failed to make the most of their home advantage as Uganda retained the crown with Kenya and Tanzania finishing second and third respectively. Rwanda managed fourth spot while Burundi finished fifth.

Meanwhile, Olivier Munyaneza and Ernest Ndayisenga joined Emmanuel Ruterana and Jean Baptist Hakizimana in the paid ranks taking the number of professional golfers to four.

Non-performers

There was little activity in athletics, boxing, tennis, chess and swimming this year.

Athletics

Worst year for Disi

Rwanda’s ace athlete Dieudonne Disi failed to live up to the billing partly because of a recurring hamstring which hampered his performance on the track.

On two different occasions (Kigali marathon and Africa Athletics Championship -10,000m), the 32-year-old athlete pulled out of events at the last minute.

In the Delhi Games, the two-time Olympian pulled out of the 10km race citing a nagging pain in his left leg.

Boxing

While they managed to field pugilists in the World Youth Championship in Azerbaijan, Singapore Youth Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, the performances were so appalling and Times Sport believes it has everything to do with the fact that the local boxing body lacks an active national championship.

Tennis

The level of tennis has gone down. Rwanda’s top players Jean Claude Gasigwa, Dieudonne Habiyambere, Olivier Nkunda, Melee Bizimana and Gisele Umumararungu to mention but a few struggled to exert their presence in regional tournaments like the three-legged ITF Futures circuit, Uganda Open, East Africa tennis championship and Davis Cup competitions.

Swimming

The only plus for the federation was sending youngster Alphonsine Agahozo to compete in the 50m free style competition in the Delhi Games. As expected, she failed to get past the heat stages but she remains a bright prospect.

Jackson Niyomugabo and Ketty Kamanzi also competed in the World Swimming Championship in United Arab Emirates. Niyomugabo recorded a personal best in the 1500m freestyle after clocking 23:27.92.

Chess

IT was a quiet year for the intellects. 

Times Sports team wishes you a Prosperous 2011

Ends

 

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