We don’t blame our schools, says Father Gatete

RWANDA may have finished second last out of five countries at the just concluded East African post-primary Games in Bujumbura, Burundi, but the director of Rwandan school sports federation Father Innocent Gatete has refused to criticise the teams.

RWANDA may have finished second last out of five countries at the just concluded East African post-primary Games in Bujumbura, Burundi, but the director of Rwandan school sports federation Father Innocent Gatete has refused to criticise the teams.

Participating in the games for the eighth time after making her debut in 2005, Rwanda continued to play second fiddle to Kenya and Uganda, who maintained the status as the regional powerhouses when it comes to schools competitions.

Kenya has dominated the games in the last couple of years and in Bujumbura, they were not in mood to relinquish their top position, winning six titles, followed by Uganda with five titles, Burundi with a single title, while Rwanda and debutants South Sudan finished fourth and fifth respectively, without a title.  

Despite yet another disappointing showing by Rwandan schools, Father Gatete yesterday attributed the underachievement to bad luck and not inferiority against the opposition teams in the finals.

“We don’t blame our schools for not winning any trophy; actually this year, we had our best outing in years, reaching a number of finals despite finishing the competitions empty-handed.

“Last year (in Mbarara, Uganda), we reached only two finals (boys’ and girls’ handball) and lucky enough we won both,” said Father Gatete told Times Sport.

He added, “This time, four Rwandan schools reached the finals of four different games but none of them won, and not because the opponents were so good but for lack of good luck for our teams.”

Solidarity Academy played in the girls’ football final and lost on penalties (pen 4-3) to Kawempe Muslim (Uganda), Apapegi Cyuru (girls) and Eseki Ruhango (boys) lost the handball final to Lubili SS. GSO Butare lost the final to Kenya’s Cheptil in the boys’ volleyball final.

“On top of that, Kenya and Uganda entre too many schools compared to us and even participated in some games we don’t have in Rwanda like Hockey and Netball, which has just been introduced in our schools,” explained Father Gatete.

Rwandan teams include; G.S Remera-Rukoma and Solidarity Academy (girls’ football), APE Rugunga and ESEG Gisenyi (boys’ football), G.S Indangaburezi and APACE (volleyball girls), G.S.O.B and Lycee de Nyanza (boys’ volleyball), St. Joseph Kabgayi (girls’ basketball), ETENI Gisenyi and Lycee de Kigali (boys’ basketball).

Others were APAPEGI Cyuru and St. Joseph Kabgayi (girls’ handball), Eseki Ruhango and College de Gisenyi (boys’ handball), ISETAR Kamonyi (boys’ rugby), G.S Gahini (netball) and two selected athletics teams (boys and girls).

According to tentative plans, South Sudan will host next year’s competitions and Rwanda will organise the games in 2015 but in case the world’s newest country fails to host the next games, Rwanda will be on standby to host them.

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