Paris Saint-Germain Academy inaugurated in Rwanda

Paris Saint-Germain in conjunction with Visit Rwanda have inaugurated a brand-new Academy in Rwanda with Paris Saint-Germain legend, Rai. Located in the Huye district, in the Southern Province, the academy will give 172 young hopefuls the opportunity to fulfil their potential in top-class sporting facilities with coaches specially trained by the club.

Strong focus in the partnership between Paris Saint-Germain and Visit Rwanda, the Academy in Huye is the first one to be completely free and has the mission of training future talents and encouraging Rwandan youngsters to play football.

This season, 172 children – boys and girls aged between 6 and 16, who were selected during scouting sessions attended by 2,000 children from schools of the region – are taking part in the Academy’s project. For one season, these youngsters will have the opportunity to train in a Rwandan first-division stadium. The training sessions will be led by local staff trained by Paris Saint-Germain, following the club’s training methodology adapted to each child’s skill level.

Every year, around 500 additional children from the local community will be invited to take part in courses or one-off events organised on the site, in order to give them a taste of the Paris Saint-Germain experience.

During the inauguration, the children present were able to meet iconic footballer Rai and join him for a training session. The social media entertainer Boris Becker also got into the spirit of the day and participated to some exercises with the young footballers.

We welcome the contribution of the Paris Saint-Germain Academy in Rwanda to the country's football development through professionalizing Rwandan players from a young age. The introduction of specialized training to Rwandan football technicians and coaches is an added advantage to Rwanda's football development. The academy in Huye district will also improve the socio-economic situation of the local population. The Government of Rwanda is committed to continuing the development of this program so that it can reach its intended objective," said Shema Maboko Didier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports.

We are delighted to open this new academy in Rwanda. This project, fruit of a long-term collaboration with our partner Visit Rwanda, is very important to us and brings a concrete added value to the local community. It marks a new stage in the development of football in Rwanda and will make it easier for many young players from all walks of life, to access top-level apprenticeships. This academy also boosts the club’s presence in Africa,” announced Nadia Benmokhtar, Head of Brand Development at Paris Saint-Germain.

The creation of this academy is very emotional for me as it echoes my own experience. At age 14, a professional football club gave me a chance after seeing me play in the street. At the time, there were no organisations like this! This academy gives many young people a fantastic opportunity to fulfil their potential. I am proud to be part of this project today and wish them great success for the future,” added Raí, former Paris Saint-Germain player, present at official opening.