League games are in full swing. One of the schools I go to, IPM, girls lost by a huge margin but that did not bother them at all. They were singing on the bus on the way back. While winning is always more fun than losing, it was good to see the girls are playing because they enjoy what they are doing, not just for the win. It’s not all about winning to them. The following week, Gahini girls played Rukara girls. Both Gahini girls primary and secondary won. That was a major upset because Rukara girls are very strong and it’s not always easy to get the Gahini girls together to practice. We found we have a new sharp-shooter and they all played well together as a team. For a coach, I was very impressed. The most recent games were very exciting. Kayonza beat Gahini 44-43. I like watching, and coaching, close games like that. It makes it much more interesting for the spectators and the players alike. Congratulations to all of the teams. Everyone has been playing hard each week. It’s nice to see the progress the players are making from week to week as well. And next week we start playoffs, and I’m sure the games will get very intense.
We welcomed Patrick Cutrona, International Program Director for Shooting Touch, back here in Rwanda at the beginning of June. It’s great to see him back. And it’s great that ST sent him out here again. He brings a fresh outlook on things every time he comes.
Patrick coming out here made me think, while the coaches out here all know Patrick and the Shooting Touch staff that come to visit, the donors and Board of Directors back home do not really know a lot about the coaches we have on staff out here. So I did a quick Q & A with one of our coaches here in Kayonza to help everyone get to know them just a little bit better. Each blog I send from here on out, I will try to include at least one Q & A of one of the coaches out here. I think it is important that we all get to know one another as we are all in this for the same reason and we are all one big extended family.
With all that said, let me introduce you to Christian Nijyimbere the Head Coach here in Kayonza.
How old are you?
Do you have any siblings?
Christian: Yes, I have 4 sisters and 6 brothers. I’m the 6th child out of 11 of us. All of the boys plus one girl plays basketball, and have been a part of Shooting Touch. I even have a brother that plays for the Rwanda National U20 Team.
What do you like to do in your spare time when not working for Shooting Touch?
Christian: I like to always be in my Father’s shop, and help work there.
Do you play any other sports besides Basketball?
Christian: Yes, In Secondary school I played also played Soccer, Volleyball, Handball, and Rugby.
What is your personal goals in life?
Christian: I really want to go back to school, to go to University. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to become a Doctor. In school I was really interested in the Biology and Medicine classes. I would also love to continue to coach Basketball in the future.
How does it feel being part of Shooting Touch and what does it mean for you?
Christian: For me to be in Shooting Touch, it is a very good chance in life because I get the chance to learn more about basketball and coaching. I still play and I am also coaching at the same time. Shooting Touch means everything to me, it has taught me more than just basketball, about life.
How do you think your players would describe you as a Coach?
Christian: My players would describe me as a good coach. I can be hard on them at times, but I can also joke around with them. They respect me and I respect them as well. And we all work together as a team. I have their back, and they have mine too.
Tell me some of your most memorable times with Shooting Touch?
Christian: The time I will never forget was when my team won the tournament we had in December. Even in the tournament in March, the Secondary boys team that I coach won again. It was a great and memorable feeling seeing and joining your team for a celebrating at the end of the game.
How can the Shooting Touch program improve here in Rwanda?
Christian: It is improving already from years in the past. But it could also improve more if they include players older than 18 years old, to give the secondary players role models and people to look up to.
Is there anything else you would like the Shooting Touch family to know about Christian Nijyimbere?
Christian: I would really like them to know that I am extremely interested and love what I am doing for the program. And also that I love to help the kids. I grew up in a big family so I always want to be surrounded by lots of people and being apart of Shooting Touch has fulfilled that for me.
In closing, thank you Christian for your time to allow us to get to know you a little better and thank you for all of your hard work both on and off the court!
I hope everyone enjoyed learning all about Christian as much as I enjoyed interviewing him. Stay tuned for another coaches interview in my next blog entry! 🙂