The Ministry of Sports, Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee and different sports federations on Monday, June 1, began a week to commemorate the athletes who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
June is usually a busy month for the Rwandan sports fraternity as federations in various sports organise Genocide Memorial Tournaments (GMT) in honour of the hundreds of slain sportsmen and women who were affiliated to the respective sports.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the memorial competitions will not happen this year. Sports events and competitions will not resume until September.
The week started with the Sports Minister, Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, and other officials from the ministry and the Olympic committee as well as members of different sports federations visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, in Gisozi, Gasabo District.
Minister Munyangaju lays a wreath at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre on Monday, June 1. Courtesy
"As the sports community of today, we must uphold the values of peace, unity and courage that [should] characterise athletes. There is no greater way of honouring and continuing the legacy of those who were gruesomely taken from us 26 years ago," said Munyangaju.
The group also laid wreaths at the memorial, a resting place for over 250,000 victims of the 1994 atrocities.
Football, volleyball and basketball are among the sports that were hugely devastated by the genocide during which over one million lives perished in just 100 days.