Sport

Breaking boundaries

Two decades on from the genocide that ripped Rwanda apart, a unique stadium project is aiming to bring people together. Matthew Campelli and Kim Megson report


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

Just over 20 years ago, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed during Africa’s largest genocide in modern times. Between April and July 1994, hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were murdered by members of the rival Hutu community, in a devastating campaign of violence.

On top of the mass killing, around two million Rwandans were displaced, and the nation has found itself in a period of recovery ever since.

Of all the things in the world to help heal the divisions, cricket has stepped up, and now forms the basis of an inspiring sport development project which is taking place in the country.

Former British Army officer and businessman Christopher Shale, who had worked on social action projects in the African nation for several years, saw first hand the power of cricket in reconciling the different ethnic groups living in the surrounding areas, and decided that a purpose-built facility would develop the sport and increase the positive atmosphere.

Backed by his friend, the former UK prime minister David Cameron, Shale began working under the banner of the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) on an idea for the facility, which would include an educational hub, as well as a much-needed centre for free HIV testing.

After Shale’s untimely death in 2011, his son Alby picked up the mantle, and now the project is close to completion.

“The inspiration for the project came from my father who loved Rwanda and saw how cricket was being used to build communities,” explains Alby Shale. “He went out to Rwanda because he was asked by David Cameron to set up a project with international development, and Rwanda was the country of choice as it was an area screaming out for assistance.”

Ahead of a May fundraising event – in which David Cameron will be present alongside England legends and RCSF patrons Michael Vaughan, David Gower and Clare Connor – Alby told CLAD that the foundation has £120,000 pledged through crowdfunding, and has a further £130,000 to raise to reach the £250,000 needed to complete the facility.

He reveals that the stadium is well under construction, with the pitch almost ready. If all goes to plan with the fundraising, Shale has pencilled in an opening ceremony for October 2017.

THE STADIUM DESIGN
The RCSF has partnered with Cambridge (UK)-based architecture studio Light Earth Designs to design the stadium, which will be made using local materials and land-use technologies intended to catalyse sustainable building practices.

“The project is innovative both from the point of view of sport and architecture,” says Light Earth Designs founding partner Michael Ramage. “The idea of bringing cricket at an international level to Rwanda is very important for the development of the sport in the country, and will allow for fixtures that generate a lot of interest inside and outside Rwanda.

“Architecturally, it will be a building that’s very much of Rwanda built by Rwandans for Rwandans. It will be something the entire country can take pride in. It grows out of an in-country interest in the design, rather than being something wacky and imposed from outside.

“The inspiration comes largely from two places: the green rolling hills of Rwanda and the trace of a bouncing cricket ball,” adds Ramage. “That has influenced the shape of the stadium’s three vaults and the pavilion as they come down a slope between the two cricket pitches.”

To avoid using unsustainable and expensive imported materials, the stadium’s main vaults will be constructed using recycled ceramic tiling and compressed earth blocks formed of 95 per cent soil and 5 per cent cement. These will be constructed into a largely self-supporting structure.

Many workers will be hired to complete the stadium and sharing transferable building skills with local people is a key focus of the project.

The facility will contain changing rooms, a press area, a bar and restaurant and a clubhouse offering free HIV testing for the local community. Spectator seating will extend outside, with green terraces built into the banks on either side of the building, overlooking two international-standard pitches.

SECOND PHASE
A second phase of development, taking place after the first building is constructed, will see a multi-purpose facility added – bringing dormitory accommodation, a swimming pool, a gymnasium and six tennis courts to the site.

The facility will be run on a not-for-profit basis, operating a ‘sport for all’ policy to encourage Rwandans of all ages, genders and backgrounds to have access to cricket. A training, coaching and support structure will also be introduced by the foundation and the government.

While the stadium will act as a home for the elite level game in Rwanda, Alby Shale stresses the facility’s importance to the wider community.

“We are creating an elite facility that checks the necessary International Cricket Council (ICC) boxes for hosting international matches, however it was designed to be a free access facility,” he explains.

“People outside of the cricket fraternity can benefit, and we have forged a partnership with the Surf Survivors Fund, which supports the survivors of genocide through community projects and reconciliation through sport.”

Working with charity Cricket Without Boundaries, RCSF will create a programme for 35,000 refugees from the Rwandan capital of Kigali to teach them cricket and HIV awareness. They’ll also invite cricketers to refugee camps to promote the sport as a “medium to solve social issues”.

Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation Pavilion Appeal

Fundraising calendar

As part of fundraising efforts by the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, a group of Rwandan cricket players made it their mission to find and photograph the ‘most beautiful and typically Rwandan locations to showcase cricket in Rwanda, as well as the country itself’ to create a charity calendar.

Photo's to showcase cricket in Rwanda
Photo's to showcase cricket in Rwanda
Fundraising calendar
Fundraising calendar
Fundraising calendar
Fundraising calendar
Our vision is to facilitate reconciliation, through the essential values of cricket
RCSF
Our vision is to facilitate reconciliation, through the essential values of cricket RCSF
Our vision is to facilitate reconciliation, through the essential values of cricket
RCSF
Our vision is to facilitate reconciliation, through the essential values of cricket RCSF
Our vision is to facilitate reconciliation, through the essential values of cricket
RCSF
Our vision is to facilitate reconciliation, through the essential values of cricket RCSF
Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Fabio Alemanno Design Ltd
Based on ancient knowledge – and confirmed by scientific research – warmth is one of the most important sources of healing and preventative therapy available.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
CLAD people: Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel Architect
"It has spaces inside that exist nowhere else"

On the National Museum of Qatar

Carlo Ratti
"Like other cultural institutions, libraries provide something that the internet cannot: genuine human interaction"

How excitingnewprojects arechanging theface oflibrarydesign

Mikyoung Kim created a sculptural fog fountain for Chapel Hill
Mikyoung Kim
"Nature isn’t rigid. It’s open-ended; that’s its beauty"

The Boston-based landscape architect on blending art and science to design creative spaces that bring communities closer

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The running track at the Bill R Foster Recreation Center
David Polzin is executive director of design at CannonDesign. He studied at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture
"We were able to create an ‘acoustic shadow’ cutting decibel levels nearly in half"

How to design the perfect community leisure centre 100 13th century pilgrimage The Vietnamese village being created using historic methods

The Volcano at Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark
Ole Barslund Nielsen founded Monstrum in 2003 with Christian Jensen. The two met when working in theatre scenography
"Failing and falling can be a good thing"

How his background in theatre set design inspired Ole Barslund Nielsen to create playgrounds with a difference

WeWork opened its first gym, Rise by We, in New York last year
Dror Benshetrit and Di-Ann Eisnor will head up the team
"We will work to fuse nature, design, technology, and community in our cities in order to measurably improve the lives of citizens"

High profile design hirings for the We Company

The Richmond BridgePark plan proposes repurposing an old bridge to create a pedestrian and cycle pathway
"Infrastructure is the manifestation of our collective investment in the functioning of our urban places"

FromLA'sRiver Projectto thetransformationof NewYork’s Erie CanalBuro Happold'sAliceShay explores some of the world's mostinnovativeadaptivereuseprojects

featured supplier
Featured Supplier: Crown overhaul changing rooms at Saunton Sands spa
Saunton Sands Hotel in Devon, UK, has completed a £2m expansion of its spa and wellness facilities.
cladkit product news
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
cladkit product news
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
BD Barcelona Design reveals Cristallo by the late Alessandro Mendini
Cristallo was the last design from acclaimed designer and architect Alessandro Mendini
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design Studio BD Barcelona Design has released Cristallo, a limited-edition cabinet designed by the late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, ...
Alusid's Sequel collection combines craftsmanship and sustainability says founder
The Sequel collection is billed as the 'most waste-efficient and sustainable' on the market
Lauren Heath-Jones
Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces, has partnered with Parkside to launch the Sequel range, the brand's first collection of ...
cladkit product news
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
Paul Kelley pushes 'technical boundaries' with modular furniture cube system
The system is designed to enable users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, where they are in complete control of the design and function of their furniture
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer Paul Kelley has created a modular magnetic cube furniture system that enables users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, ...
Tom Dixon Studio to relaunch iconic Pylon chair
Pylon was first designed more than 20 years ago
Lauren Heath-Jones
Originally conceived in his metal workshop in the early 90's, the Pylon chair was Dixon's attempt to create the world's ...