By Elias Hakizimana.
At least 104 swimmers including 68 women met on February14th, 2019 at La Palisse Hotel Nyandungu swimming pool to contest for an extra-ordinary swimming competition organized by Rwanda Swimming Federation and thousand kilos women Club.
The competition was in line with raising advocacy on gender based violence facing women in Rwanda through the ‘One billion rising campaign’ that was conducted the first time by women swimmers,
Jamira Mutesi, Advisor in Swimming Federation and team leader of Thousand Kilos said that the competition was very significant and a first step that means a lot in the future of swimming sport. She also said that its specialty is the implication of 1 billion rising campaign that was prepared by the club itself in its capacity to say ‘No’ to GBV and sexual harassment against women and girls.
“This is the first step and we hope we will progress as women club. Our doors are also open for men; we wish to go far all together to make swimming sport very fruitful,” Mutesi said.
The women swimmers’ competition takes place every year and attracts a big turn up as it is very fantastic.
“We were not celebrating valentine’s day but we have organized this to raise advocacy of women who faced gender based violence and some of us have experienced the issue. I call up on other women to have such a heart of standing up against Sexual violence, everyone is welcome to join us in the club and one needs to pay only Rwf 5,000 to be given a membership card.
She said that swimming game is not for reach people as people say. “It is a sport as others and is for everyone interested, any sport well done is fruitful,” she said.
The campaign was called 1billion rising to sensitize as many as many women and girls to raise their voice in fighting violence they face and be passionate with swimming sport.
Rosalie Uwambajimana, Secretary General of Thousand Kilos Women Club said that the competition was well done despites it was done on the same day of valentine’s where people were busy but the turn up was good.
She commends the Rwanda Swimming federation to equip them with training facilities and helping them gaining trophies.
“Our goal is to learn and be the best swimmers who can represent our club at the national level. We have many members from different swimming pools,” Uwambajimana noted.
She added that such a competition is vital to the community as it is a good occasion to deliver constructive messages in building sustainable and peaceful families.
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