Rwanda: 2020 - a Year of Mixed Fortunes for Volleyball

28 December 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic forced an unusual local and global shut-down in all spheres of life. Just like a number of sectors, the pandemic's impact on sport cannot be underrated, as among other things mega sports events and leagues were cancelled or postponed to mitigate the spread of the virus.

On the volleyball scene, it has been a year of mixed fortunes; characterized by postponement of key competitions and tournaments, but there were some positives like APR volleyball club winning their first league title in six years.

Times Sport recaps some of the main events that highlighted the year:

APR end 6-year trophy-less spell

In October, APR men's volleyball club ended a six-year spell to clinch the 2019/20 national volleyball league title.

The remarkable development did not come with a trophy alone, but it also restored the army side's participation in continental volleyball tournaments. Here, they booked a slot into the 2021 CAVB Men's African Club Championships, where they will represent Rwanda.

World Tour 2020 moved to February 2021

The international federation of volleyball (FIVB) announced that the 2020 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour star 2 would be held in 2021.

The competition was initially expected to be held in December 2020 but because of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to February, 2021.

Olympic qualifiers of Beach volleyball moved to 2021

Olympics qualifiers for beach volleyball were also moved to 2021, though the date has not been set yet.

Initially, Rwanda was supposed to host the second round of qualifiers for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics women beach volleyball from November 11 to 15 2020, but the pandemic affected this.

When the qualifiers resume in 2021, Rwanda is expected to be represented by two teams - Charlotte Nzayisenga with Valentine Munezero and Seraphine Mukantabana alongside Benitha Mukandayisenga - in the Olympic qualifiers.

For Rwanda to secure a historic first Olympics ticket in women's beach volleyball, one of the two pairs will have to win the African championship as only one slot is allocated to Africa.

Gisagara volleyball club sack head coach

Early this month, Gisagara Volleyball Club parted company with head coach Marshal Pierre Kwizera blaming him for the club's poor performance.

Kwizera led Gisagara to a 4th position finish last season (2020) but the club fans and management seemed not impressed after having expected the club to challenge for the title.

Ruterana elected as Zone V chairman

In October, the second Vice President of Rwandan volleyball federation (FRVB), Fernand Sauveur Ruterana, was voted as the president for confederation of African volleyball (CAVB) Zone V president for four-years.

Ruterana replaced compatriot and former FRVB president, Gustave Nkurunziza, who was in the position for four years.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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