Like other sports, no cycling race has been organized since March this year when the first Coronavirus case was found in Rwanda.
Two-and-a-half months ago, the game was among few of which the players were allowed to train but it is not yet known when the tournament could be resumed.
In an interview with IGIHE, Niyonshuti said that although his players have not played in races for a long time, they continue to monitor them even during the lockdown.
Regarding the preparations for the tournament, Niyonshuti said they were waiting for the decision to be taken by the relevant authorities as they planned to take part in various competitions in Belgium, which were often held in the summer.
“I think the Ministry of Sports will have discussions with the federation and coordinate to see what is needed and we can go back to the tournaments. If not, what I would say to the players is to prepare for next year because I think if we are lucky next year we will have the Tour du Rwanda tournament,” he said.
“If it goes well and we get the visas, and the invitations to the games we had planned to go to Belgium, maybe we will go there for the games in October or November because I think the year of the games will be long even though it is difficult taking the kids to Europe during the cold season,” he added.
For the past two years, the management of SKOL’s soft and non-alcoholic beverages factory has been sending athletes to Belgium for competitions during the summer between July and August.
“Taking them there in October and November when it’s cold, it would be nice for them to get used to the cold weather if they want to be professional players, but if it doesn’t happen, we can focus on the Tour du Rwanda. This year has been like a waste in everything but their life is what matters more.”
The SACA coach said the first challenge right now, for many people, is to get the necessary documents to travel to different countries in these times of Coronavirus.
“Many children here in Africa, going to Italy, France and elsewhere are having a hard time. Getting a visa that was available for two weeks can also take up to three months. Much as everything is planned now, obtaining visas has become a problem.”
Since last month, various tournaments have been organized in Europe and this Saturday, August 29, is the start of the Tour de France with the participation of the world’s top teams.
It is yet to be known where the world championship tournament, in which Rwanda will participate, will be held. So far, Sweden which is likely to host the competition in Aigle-Martigny between September 20 and 27, has extended the deadline for non-assembly of more than 1,000 people until October 1 as part of a strategy for Coronavirus Prevention.