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BUJUMBURA, March 12, 2018 - As part of the International Women's Day celebrations on March 8, female volleyball players from Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, have organized volleyball games on Saturday March 10 on the courts of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Under the patronage of Sophie Ndayihimbaze the President of the Gender and Development Commission of the Burundian Volleyball Federation, the former volleyball players came together and organized friendly matches for this occasion.
A total of two teams of girls were formed out of five teams affiliated to the Association of Amateur Volleyball of Bujumbura (AVAB), as well as a team composed of veteran and former volleyball players, took part of this celebration. The referees were all young ladies who just graduated from the Institute of Physical Education and Sports at University of Burundi.
It was also noticed the presence of two American women volleyball players who reside in Burundi and have come to join them. Burundian volleyball leaders and their staffs as well as other friends and lovers of the noble game were present to watch the games.
In her speech, Mrs. Ndayihimbaze greeted all the people who worked hard for organizing this event. Furthermore, she thanked the young and old players for putting a great volleyball show. Ndayihimbaze made a strong appeal to sports leaders in general and volleyball in particular to support women in sport. She emphasized the inclusivity of women in decision-making bodies in this male dominated field. She also advised the young players to continue their studies and not to engage in prostitution.
As for AVAB president, Jean Marie Gahungu, he welcomed the initiative of these women but also lamented the fact that Burundi is not represented in the African Women’s Volleyball Clubs Championship that started on March 8 in Cairo, Egypt. He called the Volleyball Federation of Burundi (FBVB) to show more support to women as well as men.
President of FVBV Gordien Iradukunda also congratulated the female players and invited them to multiply such initiatives. He announced that in April 2018, the federation will have a training for coaches and called for a big participation of girls and women.
Four people who supported women’s volleyball in Burundi since day one were honored during this occasion:
- Mr. Vincent Kabura alias Mutama: the old man who was able to keep and reunite the girls of « les As » when all the other members of the team have abandoned them.
- Mrs Immaculée Nzotungishaka : The only woman who heads a women’s team in Burundi, she’s the manager of New Colombe.
- Mrs Annette Ndayikunda : A role model volleyball player who kept her dsiscipline and courage. Currently, a mother of three children and remains active on court.
- Mrs Joy Kabura: The only lady in volleyball who demonstrates her desire to support volleyball through animation.
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