Rwanda: Tough Road Ahead for FERWACY Boss Ndayishimiye

The election of Samson Ndayishimiye as new president of the Rwanda Cycling Federation marks a pivotal moment for Rwandan cycling after a period of uncertainty following the resignation of his most immediate predecessor Abdallah Murenzi. The latter resigned in August.

With ambitious goals to elevate the sport further, including hosting the 2025 World Road Championship, Ndayishimiye faces the challenge of building on the progress made by his predecessors, chiefly Aimable Bayingana.

To achieve his vision, Ndayishimiye must focus on a number of tough but achievable objectives; professionalizing the federation, nurturing talent, and ensuring sustained growth.

One of the first steps for Ndayishimiye is to run the federation professionally, following the successful model established by Bayingana and then American technical director Jack Boyer. This involves implementing transparent governance, efficient management practices, and financial accountability.

By doing so, Ndayishimiye can attract corporate sponsors, investors, and partners, thereby securing the necessary resources to support the development of cycling in Rwanda.

To continue the positive trajectory of Rwandan cycling, Ndayishimiye should leverage the groundwork laid by his predecessors. The elevation of Tour du Rwanda from a 2.2 to a 2.1 category race demonstrates the potential for growth and international recognition.

Building on this success, Ndayishimiye can explore opportunities to enhance the race further, potentially pursuing an upgrade to a 2.HC or even a World Tour status. This would attract top-tier teams and riders, elevating the competition and exposing Rwandan cyclists to a higher level of competition.

Another critical aspect of taking Rwandan cycling to the next level is the continuous development of home-grown talent. Ndayishimiye should prioritize talent identification programs, grassroots initiatives, and training camps to nurture young cyclists.

Emphasizing youth development not only ensures a pipeline of skilled athletes but also strengthens the sport’s foundation in the country.

To replicate the success stories of Abraham Ruhumuriza, Adrien Niyonshuti, Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Joseph Areruya, and Samuel Mugisha, Ndayishimiye must invest in comprehensive development programs. This includes providing access to quality coaching, modern training facilities, and exposure to international competitions. By fostering a supportive environment, he can cultivate the next generation of Rwandan cycling stars.

International Exposure

Hosting the 2025 World Road Championship is a monumental opportunity for Rwandan cycling.

Ndayishimiye should capitalize on this event to showcase the country’s capabilities in organizing and hosting international cycling competitions.

This not only raises the profile of Rwandan cycling but also attracts global attention, potentially leading to increased partnerships and sponsorships. We need to see or have more Rwandan riders sign for professional teams in Europe, US, and South Africa.

Therefore, the FERWACY president should actively engage with international cycling federations, organizations, and governing bodies to seek support and collaboration. Former president Bayingana, with the helping head of Boyer, did this and we all know where that took the sport.

Establishing partnerships with experienced cycling nations like South Africa, Eritrea, Algeria, Germany, and the USA can provide valuable insights, expertise, and resources.

Diversification of disciplines

While road cycling has been the primary focus, Ndayishimiye should explore diversifying into other cycling disciplines such as mountain biking, track cycling, and BMX. This not only broadens the scope of talent identification but also increases the overall competitiveness of Rwandan cyclists on the international stage.