Gov’t sets targets for sports associations

Rwanda will be one of the biggest sporting nations in Africa in six years’ time if sports associations live up to the targets that have been set by the Government. Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi recently told parliament that, in six years, the country’s national teams of football, volleyball and basketball should be in the top 10 on the continent.
L-R:Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, Sports and culture Minister Protais Mitali
L-R:Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, Sports and culture Minister Protais Mitali

Rwanda will be one of the biggest sporting nations in Africa in six years’ time if sports associations live up to the targets that have been set by the Government.

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi recently told parliament that, in six years, the country’s national teams of football, volleyball and basketball should be in the top 10 on the continent.

 “The Government wants strong national teams representing the country in regional, continental and world competitions, especially in football, Basketball and Volleyball.

In football, the country should be among the top 10, in volleyball and basketball, to be among the top 3 nations on the continent,” the Premier told lawmakers.

The Prime Minister added that the Government will upgrade, renovate and build sports facilities that include an Olympic village in Nyanza, stadiums across the country (some of them are been upgraded and renovated) training clinics for sports teachers, build a sports school in every district, boost sports for the disabled and help sports associations in their respective disciplines.

Minister Mitali echoes PM

The Minister of Sports and culture Protais Mitali yesterday echoed the same words and told Times Sports the ministry will organize a retreat for sports associations this month to pave  way forward for sports.

“We need to achieve these targets in six years’ time and that will necessitate co-operation from athletes, sports administrators, the private sector, Government, fans and sports journalists.

“We will hold a retreat for sports associations later this month to iron out a way forward and also talk to various stakeholders to achieve these targets,” Mitali said.

The Minister noted that, although the Prime Minister singled out football, basketball and volleyball, all disciplines need to aim at being the best in regional, continental and world competitions.

The biggest impediment to development of sports in the country has been the inability of sports associations in luring corporate companies to sponsor leagues or competitions in the country.

The national football league which has a 3-year, Rwf335m sponsorship package from Bralirwa that runs out in six months time, the smallest sponsorship package compared to football leagues in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, is the only one with a sponsor.

The others that include the volleyball, basketball, rugby, handball, cricket, athletics, and karate all don’t have sponsors, something that impairs both in quality and quantity in the respective disciplines.

ostine.arinaitwe@newtimes.co.rw

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