Beginning this academic year, the University of Rwanda is getting Rwf 100m for sports as part of its Rwf36b annual budget. The allocation for games is to be shared among the seven colleges spread across the country.
According to UR management, there is no automatic distribution of the money. Otherwise each college would have got Rwf14.3m Each campus will get what has been requisitioned and approved. The cash is managed by collage management.
Can the money help the institution regain its fast-fading sports glory? Is it enough anyway? The Chronicles‘ Germain Nsanzimana sampled views from the prospective beneficiaries from the oldest and biggest of the colleges: Huye campus.
Important to note is that the coaches who are expected to drive skills development are not paid. University tradition has been that they volunteer.
Safi Desire Dusengumuremyi, Fourth year, Development Studies, also living with visual impairment
My hope is the new funding caters for people living with disabilities. For my case, I would like to play goal ball on a pitch specifically designed for it. We shouldn’t have to improvise.
Irene Niyomana, Coach for University of Rwanda FC
UR FC is in 2nd Division of the national league. Part of what led to this is low morale because the team is unable to secure the basics like soccer boots and Jerseys.
People think that coming among the last is due to no talent among players. No! As a technician, I know what keeps a player’s spirit high; it is all about how a player is motivated. It’s something universal. I will play my part, but can only do enough. I hope to get a contract. We, the community of coaches are all waiting. We need recognition.
Jean Bosco Ruhamyankaka, Taekwondo coach
I have been Taekwondo coach for eight years. Anyone engaged in anything, which has an impact to the county, needs to be rewarded so they can have motivation. Several years back, players got direct funding for training facilities, trips and other benefits. Today, as you can see for yourself, many sports don’t have or use old equipment.
Elia Nsengimana, Karate coach
There is no official UR policy encouraging sports. It should be one of things the University gives a lot of focus. All the coaches are sacrificing their time with no reward yet when a medal comes the whole campus will enjoy the recognition. Here at Huye campus, Sportsmen and women were previously granted free meal cards but no more.
Jean Bahufite, Coach UR BBC (University of Rwanda Basketball Club)
In last three years, sports has been struggling due to a combination of no funding and poor management.
But there are signs that change is coming. If the trend continues, next year we will see better results.
David Murindwa, Fourth year student, Economics
I am a basketball player. Our case is different. Situation is far better compared to last year. We have got basketball jerseys from UR for all players. I think the administration cares about our sport.
Dieudonne Nshimiyimana, Third year, School of Journalism and Communication
As far as am concerned, to revive sport requires funding which in part targets games in the lower divisions. As a footballer, there are periods when we had no basics like soccer balls. With the new budget, I expect better conditions.