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RWANDA: Kagame pledges support to sports

Rwanda has talent, President says

President Paul Kagame has pledged the government’s support to artists, sportsmen, media practictioners and other talented Rwandan to enable them achieve their full potential.

The President made the pledge on May 27 during a meeting with more than 2000 participants of Itorero for artists, sportsmen and media practitioners at Kigali Convention Center.

In attendance were sportsmen and women, including past medal winners and members of different teams, and musicians, actors, and dancers.

They were meeting with President Kagame to celebrate their achievements and thank him for his support.

Addressing the Itorero graduates, President Kagame encouraged them to use their potential to reach excellence in their respective fields and called all responsible institutions to use resources available to ensure no talent is wasted.

“I refuse to accept that we lack people of exceptional talent,” he said, and added that that his government is “ready to provide our support but you must be ready and willing to put in the work.”

“Have humility but also the strength to exercise your talent and go beyond being a spectator on the sidelines,” the President said.

Among those the President congratulate was Rwanda’s cycling team for its success and Salome Nyirarukundo, the winner of the recent Kigali Peace half marathon.

The Rwanda cycling team has for years been organising the successful Tour du Rwanda and they have won it for the past three consecutive years.

On the international race circuit, Rwandan riders have performed fairly well and some have started getting international cycling gigs.

Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, one of the top cyclists on the Rwanda team recently flew to Canada to link up with Lowestrates.Ca cycling team.

He recently won the ‘Race to Remember’ which is on this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup.

Reigning national champion Uwizeyimana is reported to be readying to be part of the LowestRates.ca team at the International Grand Prix de Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce in June. The two events are International Cycling Union (UCI)-sanctioned races.

At the recent 14th edition of Tour of Eritrea, the country’s top sprinter Jean Claude Uwizeye finished a very close second to the winner, Solomon Zemenfes of the hosts.

The President used their success to illustrate outstanding performances and also challenge institutions that fail to support talented athletes to stop the practice.  He noted that Nyirarukundo had received almost no support during preparations for the race and the concerned institutions were not promoting the cycling team.

The officials who are to blame for the omission would have to answer to him, he said.

The President added that there are many talented people around the world who live in the same environment we live in and go on to achieve great things.

“Rwanda can achieve a lot using fewer resources. We should not allow our potential to be wasted,” he said.

On the role that all artists, sportsmen and women, members of the media play in the country’s development, President Kagame assured them that they are an essential element to the country’s development and social cohesion.

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