Around 250 participants are expected to partake in the 2018 national Unified Sports Games that get underway today at Amahoro Stadium. The multidisciplinary event will run through Sunday.
Organised by Special Olympics Rwanda for sportsmen and women with intellectual disabilities, the three-day competitions will see participants vying for honors in football and athletes.
According to Special Olympics Rwanda officials, the 250 qualified from a total of 600 participants from ten 10 districts; Muhanga, Ruhango, Gasabo, Kamonyi, Kicukiro, Rulindo, Nyarugenge, Rutsiro Gisagara, and Ngororero.
Times Sport has also learnt that the best 26 performers will be selected to join the national team to start preparations for the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS) Global Games to be staged in October 2019 in Brisbane, Australia.
More than 1,000 athletes from all around the globe gather every four years to compete for medals in INAS Global Games.
The sports contested include athletics, swimming, table tennis, rowing, basketball, futsal, tennis and cycling. Demonstration events are also included at every edition. These reflect the most popular sports of the host nation not already on the INAS programme.
The Global Games are also an important event in the build-up to the Paralympic Games.
Many athletes who have made their major international debut at the Global Games have gone on to win Paralympic titles.
In 2015, Rwanda was represented by three athletes, two in athletics and one in aquatics during the Los Angeles Games in the United States.
They included swimmer Providence Umuhoza and half-marathoners Alice Mukamana and Donate Muragijimana.