Sports infrastructure in the country should increase from the current 1% to a whopping 40% by the year 2010, Youth, Culture and Sports ministry secretary general has said.
Jean Pierre Karabaranga made the revelation on Tuesday while commenting on the general development of the country’s sports infrastructure as part of the ministry’s sports development plan.
He said, “We are targeting to increase the sports infrastructure needs to about 40 percent (from its current one percent) in five years’ time with much emphasis going at the national level.”
Karabaranga noted that although the government’s mainly concern stops at the national level but with the support of other partners at the lower levels and the private sector, the whole idea could go down to the grassroots.
The SG took time to remind the relevant authorities that sports infrastructure is more than the number of football grounds and basketball or volleyball courts a given area (district) has but how sufficient the recreational space(s) is.
It is a government policy for every settlement area to have a free space for leisure and that the challenge is mainly in Kigali city where most settlements have no recreational places.
Karabaranga disclosed that the government through the Sports Ministry is planning to construct regional multipurpose stadiums enclosed with pavilions and fences so that commercializing competitions is possible compared to the existing structures.
The regional stadiums, he stressed would include a football pitch, volleyball, handball, and basketball courts as well as athletics.
“Multipurpose stadiums are good for mobilizing youths in different games, activities since they are gathered in one area,” he noted before urging schools and other institutions to own private infrastructures which would help in promoting the talents of their students.
“Sports has changed from being public and has become more private. Actually, it is becoming business.
“The expectations are high in this respect since the private sector is vastly developing,” Karabaranga said.
Infrastructure is crucial in the development of quality sports individuals who can attract companies in that particular market.
Sixty percent, the SG said of Rwanda’s population is youth and that 50% of it is only actively involved in sports and that this is due to lack of enough infrastructure which he said limits the number of activities they involved in.