Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu has flagged off the Rwandan delegation to this year’s African Youth Games, which will be held in in Algiers, Algeria from July 18-28.
Friday afternoon at the ministry’s headquarters, the ceremony attracted officials of Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC), technical staff of the teams, officials of the relevant federations, athletes as well as families of the youngsters.
At the 10-day long African youth competitions, Rwanda will field representatives in three disciplines; athletics, beach volleyball and karate.
Minister Uwacu wished the athletes good luck and encouraged them to work collectively as a team to make Rwanda proud in Algiers.
“You are talented and have worked hard to make it to the final team, now go out there with confidence and determination to make your country proud” the minister urged the young athletes before cautioning them that “It’s not professional to find anyone with intentions of escaping on national duty while competing in such competitions.”
She also told the youthful players that they should not feel intimidated or less able to win medals despite most of them making their debut on continental scene.
Penelope Musabyimana of the beach volleyball team said they have had good preparations and are ready to give it their best shot to win medals as they battle for tickets to this year’s Youth Olympic Games scheduled for October 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A total of 13 athletes across three different sporting disciplines will carry the country’s quest for a historic first African Youth Games medal.
The beach volleyball teams will depart for Algiers on Sunday (tomorrow) while their karate and athletics counterparts will be travelling on July 20.
Boys: Cedrick Kageruka, and Bernard Masabo,
Girls: Valentine Munezero and Penelope Musabyimana,
Boys: Kwame Karangwa (high jump, 100m, 200m), Dieudonnée Ugeziwe (1,500m) and Aimé Phraditte Bakunzi (3,000m)
Girls: Belyse Nishimwe (800m), Médiatrice Iradukunda (1,500m) and Angelique Ibishatse (3,000m)
Victor Shyaka Kaberuka (individual; Kata), Halifa Niyitanga (kumité -61kgs) and Jovia Umunezero (kumité -59kgs)