Rwanda organizes first ever cycling race in celebration of ’Patriotism Day’

By Zaninka Umutesi
On 23 September 2022 at 01:38

Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY), in collaboration with Kirehe District have organized a race called ’Gisaka Race’ as part of the celebration of Patriotism Day.

’Gisaka Race’ that will see riders making laps in Kirehe District is scheduled on October 1, 2022.

It will attract the participation of 18 teams including Ferwacy members and continental teams among others.

It is planned that cyclists in the men’s category will cover a distance of 102.8 kilometers while girls and juniors will race for a distance of 87.7 kilometers. They will use the routes through Nyakarambi, Cyunuzi, and Rusumo areas.

’Gisaka Race’ was mainly organized to increase the number of athletes participating in the competition and helping Kirehe District to showcase its natural beauty.

The Executive Director of Ferwacy, Alphonse Nkuranga, has told IGIHE that they decided to work with Kirehe District after proving that it has a big cycling fanbase.

“They also showed us that they have attractions in the district to be showcased as the race will be going on. There are rice fields, coffee plantations, where it is an opportunity to showcase the green Kirehe, the traditional, the traditional Imigongo patterns, there is an international border between Rwanda and Tanzania and hydro-electric plant under construction," he said.

Nkuranga explained that the district can showcase all these attractions as cyclists will ride along them.

"Gisaka Race might be held every year in celebration of Patriotism Day, which is usually held on October 1st. This day reflects the time when the APR, the military wing of the RPF Inkotanyi, attacked the Kagitumba border under the leadership of Maj Gen Fred Gisa Rwigema, marking the start of Liberation Struggle," he noted.

Nkuranga said that there will be talks that will lead to a permanent agreement.

Ferwacy has been in discussions for some time now with districts for the purpose of organizing monthly cycling competitions to raise new talents.

Apart from professionals, it is expected that residents aged 12-15 and others aged above 16 will be allowed to compete in the "Gisaka Race" using ordinary bikes.

The best young players will be recruited to join a new cycling team in Kirehe.

The athletes who will participate in this race will be given coffee as one of the crops cultivated in Kirehe. Awards yet to be announced will be given to top performers in the race.

The inaugural race will take place on 1st October 2022.