We Want to Restore Rwanda's Lost Volleyball Glory, Bagirishya Says

Published July 22, 2021, 10:12 a.m.

Rwanda Volleyball Federation (FRVB) has put in place plans to raise the game of volleyball to international standards in a bid to attract more investors and young people.

Jean De Dieu Bagirishya, the federation's Vice President in charge of competitions, has called upon coaches to work hard in discovering and nurturing new talents and turn them into outstanding players who can take Rwanda's volleyball game to the next level.

"We've put much emphasis on scouting young talents from the grassroots and things appear to be progressing pretty well, but it will take time to get back to the top," Bagirishya told Times Sport.

Between 2012 and 2016, the volleyball federation was one of the most organized in the country and national teams in different categories were performing well in regional and continental competitions.

However, the game has had ups and downs in recent years as proved by poor performances from various competitions, locally and internationally.

Rwanda's poor performance at the just-concluded 2021 FIVB Women's U20 World Championship made the federation wake up after the national team finished 15th out of 16 teams that participated in the tournament.

Bagirishya said that the federation and clubs need to work together and bring the game to where it belonged a decade ago.

He said there is a need to scout new youth players and follow-up on their progress and turn into future flag-bearers.

"With this united volleyball family, I believe that we can achieve a lot if we work together. We are now keen to improve our clubs' performance and give them well-organized competitions and increase rewards to motivate them to compete," said Bagirishya.

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"After this, we aim at long and early preparations for our national teams for them to dignify and mirror our nation through their performances in international tournaments," Bagirishya added.

There is a big community that supports volleyball. However, their turn up has been decreasing season after season due to local clubs' poor showing.

The federation's new leadership is now doing all it can to make them return to the indoor arenas in big numbers.

The volleyball season started last month with the Genocide Memorial Tournament which was won by Rwanda Revenue Authority in the women's category while Gisagara Volleyball club won the men's fray.

The federation says it will organize the Liberation Day Tournament, host World Beach Volleyball Tour Star 2, and the national league which starts in August.

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