Rwanda well represented in Ohio festival

Rwanda is one of 14 countries that took part in the 7th annual Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival organised by the greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Rwanda is one of 14 countries that took part in the 7th annual Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival organised by the greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The festival included football (U17 boys and girls), baseball (U-13 girls and U-14 boys) and basketball (U-14 boys and U-18 girls). A total of 140 teams competed in football under different age brackets in the boys and girls’ categories. 

The Rwandan delegation, led by the president of sports federation in schools, Father Innocent Gatete, departed Kigali on July 3 for the festival held from July 5-8, 2012 in Ohio (USA). Rwanda was represented by two football teams (U-17 boys and girls).

Rwanda’s boys’ team were crowned champions of the Under-17 category after beating AC Milan academy 2-0 in final despite having two players sent off, while girls’ team reached the semi-finals but lost to a select side from Washington DC 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw. 

The contingent returned home on Thursday to a warm welcome at a reception party held at La Palisse hotel where the chief guest was the Minister of Sports and Culture Protais Mitali.

Other dignitaries at the event included FERWAFA president Celestin Ntagungira and the Under-20 national team squad, which is preparing for the 2013 African Youth Championships qualifier against Mali on July 28.

In his address, Minister Mitali said, “Let me use this occasion to welcome you back and also thank you for a job well done, we’re proud of you. This should be the beginning of a bright future in Rwandan football. You were worthy ambassadors for your country.”

The head of the delegation, Father Gatete said, “Although we were somehow affected by strange climate, our players and head coach (Aloys Kanamugire) managed to do their job.”

The triumphant team played and won all their five matches, while the girls’ team won three group matches before losing in the semis.

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