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Rwandan Sitting Volleyball Team Play Team GB at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre

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After hosting the Rwandan Olympic Team last month, Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre welcomed the Rwandan Paralympic Team to the town with a very special training game on Monday 13 August.

Team Rwanda's Paralympic team arrived in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday 12 August for 13 days to train. Their first day at the Camp saw Rwanda's Sitting Vollyball Team play Team GB in a friendly training match at the leisure centre to which members, staff and customers were invited to watch. Team GB Travelled from Loughborough to take part in the game.

Bury St Edmunds is one of only three pre-games training camps in Suffolk and the only Paralympic Pre Games Training Camp in the county, hosting international Olympic and Paralympic teams so they can train and acclimatise to the UK before going to the Olympic Village.

 The Rwandan Olympic Team Olympic consisting of athletes Alphonsine Agahozo (50m freestyle swimming), Jean Pierre Mvuyekure (marathon), Yannick Fred Sekamana (Judo), Robert Kajuga (10000m) and Claudette Mukasakindi (marathon), their coaches, and their Chef de Mission Serge Mwambali, trained at the leisure centre from 6 to 18 July which sparked international and national interest.The Rwandan National Paralympic team now training in Bury St Edmunds consist of 14 athletes and six coaches and officials including the Rwanda Sitting Volleyball team (11 players), Hermas Muvunyi (400m and 800m); Theoneste Nsengimana (1500m); and powerlifter Theogene Hakizimana (82.50KG).  

The Leisure Centre is open for business as usual as the athletes want to train as part of the community.

Warren Smyth, CEO of Abbeycroft Leisure which manages the centre in partnership with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: "It was fantastic to have two paralympic teams representing two different nations play against each other here at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre. Even though it was a friendly training game played in great spirit, it was a real treat for our customers and staff and a great way to celebrate the Paralympics to come.

"The whole community here in Bury St Edmunds have given such a warm welcome to the Rwandan Olympic and Paralympic Teams and it has been an honour to host them here at Abbeycroft's site in Bury St Edmunds."

The Pre-Games Training Camp inspired 'Go Rwanda', a project set up to ensure that the legacy of the Bury St Edmunds Pre Games Training Camp stretches across the borough far beyond 2012. It has seen projects in education, sport, business, and culture helping to build a long lasting relationship between the town, the borough and Rwanda.

Cllr Robert Everitt, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member, said: "We are delighted to give a tremendously warm welcome to the Rwandan Paralympians. Bury St Edmunds was proud to host Rwanda's Olympic athletes, and we are equally proud to have the opportunity to support that country's Paralympic athletes. Many, I'm sure, will have overcome significant difficulties to get here and we look forward to supporting them both during their time in Bury and in their events."

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After hosting the Rwandan Olympic Team last month, Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre welcomed the Rwandan Paralympic Team to the town with a very special training game on Monday 13 August.
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