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Rwanda pulls out of hosting Junior Athletics championship

1 Nov

Rwanda will not host the 2013 African Junior Athletics Championship, a move which has left the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) in confusion.

The country was given the nod to host 2013 African Junior Athletics Championship slated for June next year. Rwanda was the sole bidder to host the event.

At the bidding ceremony, the country was represented by National Athletics Federation’s Jean Damascène Nkezabo and the Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports, Emmanuel Bugingo.

After several meetings and visits by Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) officials, Rwanda was informed that they would have to inject over US$2 million (Rwf1.3bn) to facilitate the championship, the New Times of Rwanda has reported.

In a twist of events, the local athletics boss Nkezabo has written to CAA just nine months before the championships saying that Rwanda has withdrawn their bid citing financial constraints.

Though Nkezabo denied writing the letter, CAA Vice President, David Okeyo confirmed the development yesterday.

“We have received communication from Rwanda that Kigali will not be ready to host the 2013 Africa Junior Championships. This is a blow to our plans because Rwanda had just been awarded the bid to host event.”

“Rwanda failed to procure necessary equipment in time and has always been lagging behind the time ever since they were awarded, the event.

“There is no standard tartan track in Rwanda to stage the championship. They also needed equipment for the event and technical support. All these need money and the organising committee has had difficulties getting the money to do all this,” said Okeyo.

In an interview, Nkezabo said, “I don’t know about the letter but it might have been written by my secretary general. The Ministry of Sports and Culture might be in good position to comment.”

However, Nkezabo acknowledged that the event would cost Rwanda a lot of money and the Ministry of Sports and Culture was not ready to commit itself despite assuring the continental body mid this year that they would avail everything to host the first ever continental athletics championship.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports Edward Kalisa said yesterday that on the side of the government, they could not meet the budget within the remaining time.

“CAA officials came to Kigali and we discussed the terms of reference to host the championship. After those discussions, an assessment was carried to see whether we could meet the costs,” he explained.

According to Kalisa, infrastructure costs alone were supposed to cost a tune of $2 million (Rwf. 1.3 billion) while organisation costs were tuned up to Rwf1 billion.


Source: New Vision


Bury St Edmunds: Two members of Rwandan Paralympic team who trained in Suffolk are “missing”

19 Sep

Wednesday, September 19, 2012  8:54 AM

By Matt Gaw

TWO members of the Rwandan Paralympic team who trained in Suffolk have gone missing.

The Rwandan paralympic volleyball team give a demonstration in Suffolk

Sitting volleyball players, James Rutikanga and Eric Ngirinshuti, vanished with all their belongings from the Athletes’ Village during the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games.

The duo, who trained for two weeks at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, were part of the men’s squad that failed to win any of their four matches at ExCeL and were eliminated in the group stages of the competition.

Rwandan Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Paralympics Celestin Nzeyimana said attempts to trace the pair after their disappearance on September 9 had proved fruitless.

“They went missing without their service passports.

“Efforts to find them have so far yielded nothing,” said Mr Nzeyimana.

He added: “We are, however, confident that they will be caught and maybe deported back since they don’t have any documents to prove their presence in London.”

Members of the 14-strong team had previously spoken warmly of their time in Suffolk during a number of civil ceremonies held in their honour.

Jeanmarie Nsengiyumva, the coach of their sitting volleyball team, said: “It’s been fantastic and my first time in Suffolk. We have been lucky with the weather, the sun was here – not too cloudy, not too hot.”

On the same night Mr Rutikanga and Mr Ngirinshuti went missing, a judoka and four officials from the Democratic Republic Congo also vanished in London.

In all, more than a dozen atheletes from Cameroon, Eritrea, Guinea and the Ivory Coast have been reported missing since the Olympics and Paralympics.

Weynay Ghebresilasie, an 18-year-old steeplechaser who carried Eritrea’s flag during the Olympic Opening Ceremony, recently came out of hiding to say he is seeking asylum from his homeland’s oppressive regime.

A spokesman for the Home Office said he could not talk about the individual cases.

Warren Smyth, CEO Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “We were delighted to host the Paralympic Team from 12 August – 24 August for their Pre games training camp. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and their athletes an inspiration to others. While they were in Bury their focus was very much on the Games and doing well for their country. Our relationship with Rwanda continues through the legacy project Go Rwanda.

“We understand that two athletes from the sitting volleyball team did not return to Rwanda with the rest of their team and this is very much a matter for the National Paralympic Committee.”

At present, none of the athletes are breaking any British laws because they all have a special London 2012 visa to stay in the UK until November.

Source: EADT24