Young and talented footballers at Play for Hope Academy were on cloud nine as they met, played and shared their joy with former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune yesterday in Masaka, Kicukiro District.
Fortune visited the Academy in bid to inspire them. His visit was sponsored by DHL, the official logistics partner for Manchester United.
The former Bafana Bafana played in a football match with the kids which ended in a 1-all draw. He shared his experience with the kids. “I had a dream when I was a kid of playing top level football. I want you to have the same dream because football is about dedication, sacrifice and hardwork,”
“Don’t ever give up but train harder, listen to your coaches and ensure that you prepare for everything.”
“When I look at these kid’s, even if they have no good facilities, I believe Rwanda has potential of producing top football stars. They boys are amazing seeing them play constructive football,” said Fortune.
The Play for Hope Academy chairman Fidele Kanamugire said that Fortune’s visit will motivate and inspire kids to grow up loving the sport and determined to play for top international clubs.
“This is a good platform for our kids to grow up aiming to be like Fortune. His visit is very important and I believe, the kids have gotten his word; to work hard and be future professional players who can play high level football in Europe,” added Kanamugire. The DHL Country Manager Julie Mutoni said, “We want young Rwandan kids to pick lessons from Quinton Fortune’s visit and we believe they will make use of fortune’s experience to have a bright future,”
Some of the kids who talked to Times Sport were happy and vowed to work hard in emulating Fortune.
The 16-year-old Onesm Twizerimana said, “I feel motivated to work hard and become a top star like Haruna Niyonzima, Jean Baptist Mugiraneza and Wayne Rooney.”
Phocas Uwayezu, 17, who was a streetkid before joining the academy said,”Playing football has given me hope to live. I feel I don’t need anyone to remind me the importance of football, I am going to aim for the best.
“We enjoyed playing football with him. I have picked vital lessons which will help us in our career. I want to be a professional player who will take Amavubi team to the next level,” added Uwayezu.
DHL Rwanda staff donated two sets of jerseys and two footballs to the academy. Earlier in the morning, Fortune and DHL staff visited a village ‘umudugudu w’icyizere’ [hope family] in Nyarugunga sector which is comprised of 50 Genocide survivors’ families.
They donated one tonne of maize flour and rice as part of their corporate social rensponsibility pillar.
Last night, Fortune met soccer fans and guests at Serena Hotel where he discussed more about himself and his former club as well as his nation South Africa.Follow https://twitter.com/pkamasa