Rwandan youngsters set for Football for Friendship Programme in Russia


Rutikanga Nyatanyi Yvan Luc and Rutayisire Hirwa Stephane, the selected 12 year old young Rwandan ambassadors will be on their way to Russia on June 8th to participate in the 6th Gazprom Football for Friendship International Programme.

They will be joined by kids from over 210 countries around the world, in Moscow.

The young footballer will be a part of the “African Elephant” team, and will undergo a 3-day training camp in Moscow, to get used to the playing conditions and get ample practice with his team, before the start of the championship.

Rutikanga, a primary six student at ADESOC, was picked from Shining Football Training Center following his excellence in the U-13 Ijabo Ryawe Rwanda Football Tournament held in December last year were he guided his team to the title after edging Niyo FC 2-0 in the final of League 5 based in Kigali City.

The young footballers will also participate in workshops and sessions, conducted by renowned celebrities.

At the F4F Programme in Russia, Rutikanga will be accompanied by Rutayisire, 12 years, who will act as a young journalist and cover all the local and global activities of the program as part of the International Children’s Press Center.

Rutayisire, a primary five student at Kigali Parents School was picked based on his keen interest in football and being fluent in English and French.

The Press Centre acts as hub for the young journalists, who gather information, make reports, write news articles and prepare materials on the initiatives implemented as part of the Programme.

Rutikanga and Rutayisire will also participate in the Sixth Football for Friendship International Children’s Forum in Russia, which will provide the youngsters an opportunity to meet their peers from other countries, share their experiences, and discuss with famous footballers and journalists on how to promote key values of the F4F Programme around the world.

The International Children’s F4F Forum will be participated by famous sportsmen, journalists, and public figures who support the project and provide their thoughts and inspiration to the young athletes.

The young ambassadors will also participate in the Nine Values School programme, where they will be taught about the 9 key values of the F4F programme (friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour, under the guidance of young coaches and the supervision of famous players.

The pair will be accompanied by FERWAFA Executive Committee Eng. Alexis Redamptus Nshimiyimana who will act as the Group Leader and Nkotanyi Hibatuma who will act as the coach. Nkotanyi is an aspiring coach chosen from Shinning Academy who also doubles as the coach of second division club Interforce FC based in Remera, Kigali City.

The Football for Friendship programme has been organised by PJSC Gazprom since 2013 and has grown from 8 participating countries to 211 today.

The programme is supported by FIFA, UEFA, International Olympic Committee, football federations of various countries, international children’s charity funds, and the world’s leading football clubs.