The first Open International Cup of Sitting Volleyball in the Great Lakes Region of Africa took place from 24-26 July in Kigali, Rwanda, with the Egyptian team staying undefeated throughout the competition and finishing on top.
A total of six teams were in Rwanda’s capital for the inaugural competition, including the host country, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Open International Cup gave athletes in the Great Lakes Region the chance to demonstrate the outcome of months of training, preparing them for further competitions.
Following Egypt in second place was Rwanda, winning four and losing one games. In third place was Kenya, winning three and losing two games. The subsequent three places were held by Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, all with one win and four losses.
The International Cup in Kigali had been on the calendar of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Rwanda for months, and therefore saw a great deal of planning and training for the participating countries. In just November of last year, NPC Rwanda organized a workshop on Sitting Volleyball, which was sponsored by the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and managed to have experts in the sport onsite, including Jouke de Haan from The Netherlands, and the President of the World Organization Volleyball for the Disabled (WOVD), Pierre Van Mannen.
A total of 12 coaches and eight referees were trained at the workshop in Sitting Volleyball, with coaches from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The two experts helped to conduct the seminar and activities, and as a result, helped to set up a calendar for developing the sport up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.