Umurenge Kagame Cup: Rutsiro Mayor salutes players after triumphant campaign

Gihango Sector players, carry the trophy aloft in wild celebrations after receiving it from Local Government Minister, Prof. Anastase Shyaka (right) at Huye Stadium on Sunday. Courtesy.

Emérence Ayinkamiye, the Mayor of Rutsiro District, is full of praise for Gihango Sector following their triumphant 2019 campaign in Umurenge Kagame Cup where they claimed the title in men’s football.

Rutsiro's Gihango sector were crowned champions at Huye Stadium on Sunday after beating Nyarugenge Sector (of Nyarugenge District) 4-2 on penalties after the two sides played out a 1-all draw in regular time.

Midfielder Saidi Nahimana, of Nyarugenge, opened the scoring after 30 minutes before Jean Paul Niyiburira brought his Gihango team back into the game with an injury time equalizer.

Speaking to Times Sport on Wednesday, Ayinkamiye said she was impressed by performances from all the teams that represented Rutsiro District, but particularly the Gihango Sector team.

Dr. Uster Kayitesi, the acting CEO of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), speaks during the closing ceremony of the 2019 Umurenge Kagame Cup competitions at Huye Stadium on Sunday. Courtesy

“It is a great pleasure that our district performed well in the competitions. It is all because we prepared our teams earlier. We wanted to win titles for both men and women’s categories, but we are nonetheless happy for the men’s team achievement,” she said.

Winning Umurenge Kagame Cup titles has become kind of a routine for Rutsiro District over the last three years, especially in football.

The district’s men and women teams lifted trophies of the 2017 Umurenge Kagame Cup before the women’s side retained the title last year.

“Our goal remains the same: To win trophies in every Umurenge Kagame Cup season. It is that spirit that pushes us to do well, and we will come back even stronger next year.

We get fantastic results in football and are happy, but we also need to improve in other disciplines so we can win more titles,” she noted.

Organised by Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) since 2006, the annual competition is aimed at deepening the principles of good governance, especially at the grassroots level.

In 2010, the tournament changed its name to ‘Umurenge Kagame Cup’ in recognition of the role of President Paul Kagame in promoting good governance and sports.

Ayinkamiye said the competition has helped local leaders to reach out to the people for better mobilisation on the government policies within communities, especially among younger generations.

“Youths hardly attend community gatherings but competitions like Umurenge Kagame Cup have given us an opportunity to engage them on a range of topics, such as hygiene and the fight against drug abuse.

“And the feedback and results have proved that it really works.”

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