As Jock and Kim continue the transition of ARCC to make it fully Rwandan-governed, it was important to have a qualified Rwandan in the leadership of the center. So after a few job interviews, one candidate, Richard Mutabazi, qualified best for the job position of deputy director of the Africa Rising Cycling Center.
Richard Mutabazi has been a speaker in Tour Du Rwanda since 2010 and knows a thing or two about cycling from there. We are very excited to work with Richard at the center, as his work ethic in the past few days shows passion and determination. We did a small Q&A for everyone to know the basics about the new member on our team .
Q: Give us a little background about yourself.
A: I went to university for mechanical engineering, although I haven't done as many jobs in that domain. I worked for an American NGO that helps kids with HIV/AIDS. I was a communications officer at a point in time while I worked for a peace building NGO.
I've always been involved in sports, mostly as a speaker in many sports events, such as the soccer event, CHAN and Tour du Rwanda- since 2010. I was the secretary general in the basketball federation, and that is where most of my interest to do this kind of thing came from. When I saw this job opportunity, I did not hesitate to apply.
Q: What was so irresistible about this job opening?
A: With being a speaker at Tour du Rwanda for 6 years, I developed an interest in the sports of cycling. Cycling was making headlines and doing wonders in the country, so I was motivated to learn more about it and be part of the winning team.
Q: Why did you think you were eligible to work in this position, alongside the national team?
A: Over the years, I've been able to connect and establish a relationship with most of the athletes. I've come to understand the passion that Jock had for cycling in Rwanda when he and many others created all of this. I am now undertaking the vision of Team Rwanda for cycling and making it my own. I have my feet on the ground when it comes to leading people I know and connect well with, so I definitely know that I am right where I am supposed to be.
Q: What was your initial impression of the center?
A: The first time I actually visited the center was in 2015. I never quite realized the potential that ARCC has until recently, but I loved the idea that this was a place for the national team to spend time and train together, bond and develop team spirit. This center gives them basic needs as athletes that I don't think they would go out of their way to look for on their own. It opens their eyes to the world and shows them that there is more to life than where they are from.
Q: What is the one thing that shocked or surprised you about the center?
A: I was surprised by the value of the material we have here at the center. Jock and Kim have gone above and beyond their efforts to provide the team with quality equipment, and seeing all of it just blew my mind.
Q: What do you envision for ARCC/what added value are you bringing to the center?
A: I want the national team/our athletes to be able to connect with their leadership better, and I hope to make that happen. Being a local, I'll be able to solve the problem of language barrier and many more issues from an insider's point of view. I will help them to learn better because I connect with them and understand their culture and background.
Q: What do you look forward to doing most in your new position?
A: I am going to work towards making the center self-sustained. Jock and Kim have done an amazing job establishing a great relationship with donors who are just as passionate about cycling, but I think we need to reach to a point where we are able to fund many more things on our own. It might be a little idealistic but we'll work towards that goal, regardless of how long it takes.
There you have it. The new deputy director is motivated and we are all optimistic to work together! #teamisteam