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newtimes - 12 days ago

Volleyball: Why many clubs have been going defunct

At least one team in the Rwanda Volleyball League goes defunct every year. Records indicate that 25 teams have disappeared so far during the post-Genocide era. Names like KVC, Amasata and Nyanza come to mind when talking about clubs that were once operational but later faded out. Some left behind records and memories in domestic volleyball which will take long to be forgotten. Here, teams including Rayon Sports (men), the University of Agricultural Technology and Education of Kibungo (UNATEK) (men), Umubano Blue Tigers, and once volleyball powerhouse University of Rwanda, Huye campus Les Colombes stand out. For instance, University of Rwanda, Huye campus, arguably Rwanda’s most successful club of the 2000s, was dissolved in 2011 after winning the 2011 league title while UNATEK won the league title four times in 2015 and 2016 before disbanding in 2017. The recently dissolved UTB’s men volleyball team debuted in the national volleyball league five years ago and within that time it had claimed various accolades including two Genocide Memorial Tournaments. Rayon Sports another notable club disappeared, just two years after winning the 2013 and 2014 Genocide Memorial Tournament. They were part of the first division league for two years. Why the collapse? APR Volleyball team head coach Elia Mutabazi, told Times Sport said that teams in general break down for reasons that include lack of concrete plans for sustainability, for instance, he noted that some teams are established by companies in their quest for marketing. “Often these teams bring in speed and provide jobs for players and salaries at the top. They often collapse due to the institution s management, which finds that the expenditure is too high or sometimes the new leaders of the companies or institutions come in and deem sports not part of their priorities,” he noted. “Often, instead of welcoming students or young players, such teams rush to find success and spend a lot of money,” he added. He reflected on the fact that teams with experience like APR, RRA and REG, use small but reasonable budgets, which makes them stable. The sad thing for the Volleyball community is that some of these clubs disappear when they are in a good position sports-wise, for example producing players that even feature for the national team. For instance, University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies (UTB), the latest team to drop out of the volleyball league, contributed four players in the national team squad that participated in the just-concluded 2021 CAVB African Nations Championship. They include UTB’s Placide Sibomana Maddison, Yvan Mahoro, Nelson Murangwa and John Nkurunziza while others like Olivier Ntagengwa, Fred Musoni and Christophe Mukunzi, have also been regular national team figures in the past half-decade. The Covid-19 factor With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and most of the Rwanda Volleyball League clubs struggling to meet their financial obligations, including paying players and coaching staff, staying afloat is going to be a battle. 25 teams that went defunct in the last 27 years Men: Umubano Blue Tigers, Amasata, Kigali Volleyball Club go and come back, UNATEK, Ngoma Volleyball Club, National University of Rwanda (UNR), UTB, Rayon Sports, Kist, KIE, Inyemeramihigo, Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE-BUSOGO), Byumba Volleyball Club, Lycee de Nyanza, and Gitarama Volleyball Club, IPRC Huye, IPRC Karongi and La Vedette du Lake Women: Les Colombes, UNR, ISAE-BUSOGO, Inyemeramihigo, UTB, KIE and Gitarama Volleyball Club.


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