The Rwanda Table Tennis Federation is in advanced talks with Cédric Rouleau on the possibility of becoming the new coach of the national table tennis team, Weekend Sport can confirm.
The position has been vacant since former coach Yves Ndizeye resigned from his post in 2020 to pursue his studies in China.
Alphonse Muhama, who holds a Level 1 coaching license, has been the national team’s interim coach ever since.
“Currently, the national team does not have a head coach but we are in advanced negotiations with Rouleau,” said vice-president of table tennis Innocent Bahati.
“He gave us his contract proposal in which he told us what he is looking forward to achieving when he becomes a national team coach and the salary he is asking for. We are working on it and seeing if we can meet it. to his wishes before finalizing the deal,” he added.
The federation was impressed with Rouleau’s recent performance during his training spell with Mauritius, guiding the island to the just-concluded regional qualification for the 2023 World Table Tennis Championship in Ethiopia and qualifying them for the 2022 senior african championship.
His country was in the same tournament that Rwandans Didier Hahirwabasenga, Eric Niyonizigiye and Regis Ishimwe took part in and finished fourth, a performance the trio said would improve if they had a competitive coach of Rouleau’s caliber.
“Everyone in Ethiopia was surprised by our performance because they thought Rwanda was just there to participate. But we proved them wrong despite it being our first appearance in a continental table tennis tournament,” Ishimwe said.
“We knew our level was lower than that of our opponents, but our winning spirit helped us reach the last four. We are proud of our performance but I think we deserve better if we are given a professional coach,” he added.