Great ambassador of Rwandan volleyball remembered
Fifteen years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the local volleyball fraternity still hold fond memories of Alphonse Rutsindura; a key figure in Rwandan volleyball and a victim of the mayhem.
Born in 1958, Rutsindura together with many other volleyball players, coaches and fans perished during the 1994 atrocities.
A brief biography about him:
On top of being a teacher at Petit Seminaire de Butare (PSB) and a lecture at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), Rutsindura had unquestionable passion for volleyball, a sport which has won Rwanda insurmountable praise and recognition in the region and on the continent.
Alexis Mbaraga, one of Rutsindura’s former students reckons that he was very instrumental in uplifting the sport back in the 80s and early 90s.
“His contribution to the sport can not be measured,” Mbaraga said.
He played a very instrumental role in promoting PSB into the top league from the second division. He also went on to guide PSB to a number of national league titles posing a serious challenge to NUR, the league giants at the time.
He also coached the ladies’ national volleyball team in the early 90s. He will always be remembered for propelling Rwanda to her first Zonal title.
Drawn in Zone four (Angola, Burundi, DR. Congo and Cameroon) at the time, he guided Rwanda to the title. Outside his coaching duties, he was a volleyball administrator. He was the first vice president of the National Volleyball Federation (FRVB).
Since 1994, an annual tournament dubbed ‘Rutsindura memorial’ is held in his memory and about 46 others members of the local volleyball family, who did not survive the 1994 turmoil.
In the recent past, the tournament has been made colourful after increased sponsorship from the ministry of Sports and Culture (Minispoc) and CNLG; a body responsible for fighting genocide ideologies.
APR won last year’s title after eclipsing UNR in the final. In the ladies section, UNR were again second best after going down in the final against visiting KAVC from Uganda.