Rwanda National Olympic and Sport Committee is ready to host the first ANOCA Zone V Genocide Memorial Youth Games.
The President of Rwanda National Olympic and Sport Committee Amb. Munyabagisha Valens confirmed the development on Thursday in an interview with KT Sports.
The five-day event which will be staged in Huye District from April 2nd to 6th, 2019 will be held in five sports codes namely Cycling, Beach Volleyball, 3*3 Basketball, Taekwondo and athletics and 39 medal events.
All the 11 Zone five countries namely Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Egypt and hosts Rwanda are expected to take part in the games..
The Rwanda National Olympic and Sport Committee is also planning to invite guest nations France and Senegal, hosts of the 4th edition of the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.
Amb. Munyabagisha said, “The decision to host these games was taken during the previous Zone V meeting where Rwanda was requested to host the maiden games and we agreed. We have since gone ahead to prepare for these games which will be held once in two years,”
“We hope that we can use these games as a qualification to continental games going forward. Preparations are currently underway. We expect 350 athletes aged between 16-18 years to grace the youth games,” said Amb. Munyabagisha.
The event has been organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees for Africa (ANOCA)’s Zone V in conjunction with the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee, and the Government of Rwanda in the spirit of Olympism and the power of sports to reconstruct the country from the genocide ideology.
Amb. Munyabagisha further added, “During the course of the games, youth players will get an opportunity to be inculcated on values of Olympism. We will use the games to fight Genocide ideology and promote reconciliation and social cohesion. We will be taking evening sessions to teach the youth players on the effects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi while also focusing on regional conflicts like in South Sudan, Kenya, Burundi among others,”
Meanwhile, concerned local sports federations have started also preparing for the regional youth games.