Rwanda: Forefront, Rwanda's New Volleyball Force Aspiring for Dominance

19 January 2023

Rwanda's topflight volleyball league debutants, Forefront Volleyball Club, has pulled an incredible season that caught the attention of a big number of volleyball enthusiasts, with performance that left alarm bells ringing on rivals.

The club's men's team may currently be sitting fourth on the eight-team log, but Forefront VC has beaten big teams like APR and Rwanda Energy Group (REG) this season, a factor that indicates their hunger for success and intent to strive for domestic dominance alongside the likes of Gisagara, APR and REG.

Club head coach Sylvestre Mbanza heaped praise on his players who understand his coaching philosophy in what made him get a sense of translating Forefront from a participating team to title contenders sooner or later.

"My team has been training to give tough moments to the opponents regardless of the status of their capabilities. The mission is to respect the opponent but fear none," Mbanza told Weekend Sport.

Forefront VC men's team is home to a pool of talent mixed with experienced players such as Fred Musoni and Placide Sibomana, two middle blockers that feature for the national team and played professionally in Finland and Qatar, respectively.

Olivier Ntagengwa, their captain, is also a key national team player and an African beach volleyball icon.

These experienced players blend with new blood like Mandela Nzirimo, a young left attacker and Crespin Ntatere, a setter.

On the other side, the Forefront women's team had quite an impressive season as they finished second out of the seven teams playing in the women's league after losing the title to APR.

The pair faced off in the national league, and so far, the game is one of the most highly-contested fixtures, and often does not end in less than five sets.

"Challenging APR VC at the final phase has always been hard for my young women. They have been training and dedicated to give their all so that, even if they lose, they can at least be happy of whatever the result comes out," said Forefront Women head coach Masumbuko.

Forefront is affiliated to Rwanda National Police (RNP), and is one of those clubs that are poised to add more prowess to the institution's sporting endeavors.

The local volleyball federation (FRVB) management says it is delighted for the input Forefront has brought to the volleyball game and encourages more private institutions to invest in Rwandan Youth through sports.

̋Both Forefront Men and Women VC have brought huge impact in our League because we have a good number of upcoming volleyball stars, both men and women, who got opportunity to showcase their talents in Forefront which is good for our future National Teams, we hope the club is in to stay and possibly win Titles, ̋ said federation president Raphaël Ngarambe.

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