Rwandan Olympic team arrive in Bury

Rwandan Olympic team
Rwandan Olympic team

THE RWANDAN Olympic team have arrived in Bury St Edmunds to complete their preparations for London 2012.

The team of four athletes and their coaches arrived at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre in time to see the Olympic Torch complete its journey through the town.

This morning they attended a special service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral and a civic welcome at the Athenaeum hosted by the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, councillor Tim Marks.

The Mayor welcomed the Rwandan team to Bury St Edmunds and told them that the town would be watching and supporting their progress in the games.

The Deputy High Commissioner of Rwanda, Linda Kalimba, said: “Us Rwandans feel very at home - we are having fun, we feel at home you have beautiful souls you exhume them and we feel that love.

“The team here from Rwanda has done us very proud if you see them a little bit quiet and not outgoing they have a heavy burden on them all Rwandans are setting their eyes on them but I want to inform them they should not worry.”

The athletes training at the leisure centre are: Alphonsine Agahozo who will compete in 50m freestyle swimming, marathon runner Jean Pierre Mvuyekure, Yannick Fred Sekamana who will compete in judo and long distance runner Robert Kajuga.

Yannick Fred Sekamana said that the athletes have started training at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre where they have all the facilities they need.

He said: “I’m nervous like the Deputy High Commissioner said everybody in Rwanda is waiting for us to do something good.”

Bury St Edmunds is one of 200 pre-games training camps, hosting international Olympic teams so they can train and acclimatise to the UK before they compete.

Warren Smyth, chief executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “We are extremely excited about holding the pre-games training camp here in Bury St Edmunds.

“The Rwanda National Olympic Committee chose Bury St Edmunds because they felt at home here, they want to be part of the community when they train and were pleased that people would support Rwanda as their second team.”

While training in the town the team will meet the students of local schools, attend the Big Dance 2012 - which is being held in aid of Sport For Rwanda, and visit Moyse’s Hall Museum where a special exhibition entitled Suffolk’s lap of Honour is on display.

The team will leave Bury St Edmunds and head for the Olympic Village in Stratford on July 18.