In 10 days we are more experienced than six years ago- Rwanda's captain
Izmir, Turkey, August 31, 2013 - Rwanda came to the Men's U21 World Championship with only a small amount of international volleyball experience, but in 10 days of competitive matches everything turned over for the Rwandan captain Aimable Mutuyimana.
He started volleyball in 2007 at Petit Seminary Secondary school but in 10 days in Turkey he learned more than he gained in a full six years.
He joined Inatek University club thereafter and now he is playing for APR volleyball club in Rwanda which is the major club there not only for volleyball but also for most of the popular sports such as football and basketball. Even so the World Championship was the biggest experience not only in volleyball, but in his life.
"We learned a lot in the last 10 days,” he said. “Playing against big teams in our group was very difficult for us at the beginning of the Championship. However, we learned a lot from their systems and mentality. This Championship definitely improved our mindset. That was our aim and I think we accomplished it.
"Everybody has dreams but success comes step by step. Rwanda's first step was to get some experience. After Venezuela match on August 30, we celebrated our first win ever at a World championship. We were happy to win that match against Venezuela. The match was not difficult at the beginning but then it got harder. We pushed ourselves to win at least one match. We fought until the last point. These are all great experience for me and my teammates.
“When we qualified for FIVB U21 Men's World Championship, everyone back in Rwanda was really happy. We played against Morocco and won the bronze medal match at the African Championship to qualify for the World championship here. During this Championship we had some difficulties both mentally and physically, but even when we had some mistakes, we were able to handle them” he continued.
The captain believes that their participation will help and improve Rwanda volleyball a lot.
“We learned a lot from the tournament. We learned that we should fight until the end no matter who we play against. Our mind has changed a lot”. Mutuyimana added