Bitok calls for support for the national volleyball team


Rwanda's vice captain Lawrence Yakan (number 12) is recovering from a knee injury. (Timothy Kisambira)

Rwanda?s vice captain Lawrence Yakan (number 12) is recovering from a knee injury. (Timothy Kisambira)

The call follows the team?s dismal performance at the 2015 Men?s African Nations Championship in Cairo, Egypt.

Rwanda lost to Cameroon 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-22) in the 5-6 position playoff game at the Cairo Stadium Complex on Wednesday.

?We are happy that our Government is trying to support us. We ask other sponsors to help to enable us train abroad. We appeal to sponsors to come in so that we can reach the next level. We have a young and good team that just needs more sponsorship to accomplish our goals,? noted Bitok.

Bitok said that Rwanda played well but finishing strong was the problem. Rwanda improved their blocking to lead 16-13 in the second set against Cameroon but went on to lose the set 25-23. Rwanda maintained their lead 16-15 in the third set but again Cameroon won the set.

?It is an achievement. It is a process. We played teams like Tunisia, Cameroon, Morocco and Kenya who have been participating for over 20 years and we cannot start now and be champions in one day.?

He added that, ?Our team is among the teams with young players, which I think, if given a chance, like this, we shall reach the level of the North African countries.?

Bitok also said that Rwanda has to learn from strong teams and change the way preparations are done.

?Our way of preparations has to change. For example, most of the teams train and participate in different tournaments before competitions. Egypt were in Qatar, Morocco in Italy, Cameroon in Slovenia and Qatar while Algeria were in Italy. That shows you how other teams prepare for such competitions.?

?However, we thank our federation and the Ministry of Sports and Culture for allowing our team to participate and I believe, given more chances to compete, we shall understand our opponents and we shall get experience which most of our young players need.?

By Peter Kamasa, The New Times

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