Skol pledges to keep supporting cycling

Eritrean Girmay Biniam, 18, celebrates in Skol jersey after winning Stage 5 of the 2019 Tour du Rwanda in Musanze on Thursday. Plaisir Muzogeye.

SKOL Brewery Brand Manager Emilienne Benurugo has reiterated the company’s commitment to keep supporting Tour du Rwanda, and local cycling in general.

The brewery and Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy) started their sponsorship partnership in 2013, initially on a three-year deal, and this has since been renewed twice – first in 2016 and this year. The current contract will expire in 2022.

Particularly, Skol are the jersey sponsors of stage winners during Tour du Rwanda. After six stages of this year’s Tour du Rwanda, no Rwandan has won a stage so far at the ongoing 2019 edition, which is the first under the UCI 2.1 category.

Should the race end without a stage win for home riders, it will be the first time , this will have happened since 2012 when Tour du Rwanda was won by South African Lill Darren. Eritrean Merhawi Kudus, who is in yellow jersey since Stage 2 on Sunday, finished sixth during the 2012 edition.

In an interview with Saturday Sporton Thursday, Benurugo said: “The cycling federation has been a great partner since the beginning, and our brand has expanded in the process. We are very proud to be contributing to cycling development in Rwanda.”

Skol are also the main sponsors of Fly Cycling Club, and will be sending five young riders to Belgium every year for a series of competitions.

“We are fully involved in cycling, and we want to be part of at all levels – starting from the grassroots and talent development programmes,” added Benurugo.

Along with Cogebank, Skol are also the main sponsors of Rwanda Cycling Cup, a year-round championship established in 2015.

Besides cycling, the Nzove-based brewery company are also the headline sponsors of fan favourite football club Rayon Sports, and an official brewery partner with English Premier League club Arsenal.

This publication understands that Skol also sponsors different cycling competitions to a tune of Rwf150 million every year.

Tour du Rwanda 2019 comes to a close with the ultimate eighth stage on Sunday.