Rwanda: London 2012 Olympic Plans in Pipeline

The New Times (Kigali)

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Bonnie Mugabe

As the postmortem into Rwanda's poor show at the Beijing Olympic Games takes its toll on the local Olympics fraternity, the national Olympics committee has come up with a plan to help Rwanda stage a better show in the 2012 London Games.

With four years to the games, Rwanda's preparations for the 30th London 2012 Olympic Games are expected to kick off with the forthcoming Francophone Games in Beirut, Lebanon, Times Sport has established.

It is said that local sports federations will field many athletes for these games as a way of gauging their potential ahead of the London Games.

The francophone games will then be followed by the 2010 World Olympic Youth Games in Singapore where Rwanda National Olympic Committee (RNOC) is expected to field a strong team.

In Singapore, Rwanda is expected to take part in four sporting disciplines namely; boxing, cycling, athletics and badminton.

According to the RNOC boss, Ignace Beraho, the 2010 Olympic youth Games will be used as a weighing scale for the 2011 All Africa Games in Zambia as well as the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Beraho said, "If the schedule goes as planned, Rwanda will have a good chance at the London Games."

In the field of talent search, the minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza has warned that incompetent administrators with no vision of scouting for talent will be thrown out of office.

Giving an example of unending squabbles in different federations like the swimming federation, Habineza said, "We need focused managers in the federations. My ministry will not allow incompetent administrators to ruin the country's sports standards,"

"We are going to recruit professional managers whose vision is aimed at promoting the sports standards in the country," the minister continued.

The Sports ministry has vowed to do everything possible to try and improve training facilities and financial assistance to federations ahead of the 2012 Games.

Emphasis on other sports

Rwanda is set to introduce other sporting events as a way of increasing their chances for a medal in 2012. Some of the events lined up before the end of this year include Judo, badminton, wrestling, archery, shooting, hockey, and canoe kayaking.

"We have reached out to different Olympic committees worldwide to help us introduce these sports in Rwanda," Beraho said.

RNOC Elections

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Meanwhile, RNOC officials are set to go to polls although no date has been revealed. According to Beraho, the RNOC statue grants the local Olympic body to elect a new committee six months after the Olympic Games.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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