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Twenty years on in Rwanda
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Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, Cricket Without Boundaries examines the difference cricket has made in rebuilding the nation.

On 7 April Rwanda will mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide that saw one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu people slaughtered by Hutu soldiers and militia in just 100 days.

Time continues to play its part in healing the country’s wounds but it is receiving a helping hand from an unlikely source – cricket. The sport was introduced in Rwanda by exiles who fled the country to escape the atrocities and brought the game back from places like Kenya and Uganda.

From these small shoots it has blossomed thanks to the involvement of UK cricket development and HIV/AIDS charity Cricket Without Boundaries. Working in partnership with the Rwanda Cricket Association and the ICC, CWB has visited the country 11 times since 2007, coaching more than 18,000 children and training nearly 200 new coaches.

CWB trustee Ed Williams said: “One of the main reasons we wanted to come to Rwanda was to use cricket to bring people together. As well as teaching people the basic skills we have tried to promote the values that are synonymous with the game, things like teamwork and respect for your fellow players." On a different site on the edge of Kigali another British charity is looking to do its bit to establish cricket in Rwanda.

The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation was formed in August 2011 to build and manage, on a not-for-profit basis, the first dedicated international cricket ground in Rwanda. One of RCSF’s ambassadors is England international Heather Knight. She visited Rwanda with the charity earlier this year and also joined forces with CWB to coach the national women’s team. She said: “The girls were very welcoming and really got stuck into the fielding circuit that I ran with them. Cricket has given me so many brilliant experiences over the years and it was great to see the girls out there enjoying their cricket and also enjoying each other’s company. It's brilliant that they are being given the same chances as their male counterparts to get involved in the sport.”

Cricket Without Boundaries will be returning to Rwanda in Autumn 2014.

CWB Rwanda from Lee Booth on Vimeo.


For more information on the charity including how to volunteer visit www.cricketwithoutboundaries.com


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