Handball memorial tourney set for June 8-9

Police Handball Club and APR players during a past match at Kimisagara Youth Centre. File.

The local handball governing body has announced that this year’s Genocide Memorial Tournament (GMT) will take place on June 8-9 in Kigali.

The annual tournament is designed to remember and pay respect to players, coaches, fans and administrators of the sport who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

According to Jean Paul Ngarambe, the Secretary General of Rwanda Handball Association, the two-day competition will be contested by teams from seven countries; Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and DR Congo and the hosts Rwanda.

“We are waiting to hear from the invited teams to confirm, we have already sent out the invitations,” he said.

Ngarambe further noted that it is part of the handball body’s responsibilities to join the country in commemorating the Genocide and ensuring that the young Rwandans in handball understand “where the country is coming from, but most importantly, where it is headed.”

Last year, local powerhouse Police Handball Club lifted the tournament’s title in men’s category after beating rivals APR 29-26 in the final, while APEGA Gahengeri overcame ES Kirambo in identical score-line to win the women’s title.

Over 20 people associated with the handball federation including; players, coaches and administrators are known to have been killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Handball players killed during the Genocide:

Evariste Simbaburanga, Augustin Rutamu, Augustin Nsabimana Ndikubwimana, Vital Uwitibagiwe, Emile Uwihirwe, Leonard Hakizimana, Charles Shumbusho, Evariste Nsengiyumva, Eugene Munyambano, Augustin Hakizimana, Agatha Kayirege, and Claude Isabwe.