Mukobwankawe scales new heights in sitting volleyball

Liliane Mukobwankawe has been at the centre of the Rwandan rise to success in sitting volleyball.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 5 November 2022 – Rwanda’s Liliane Mukobwankawe came to the 2022 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships with newfound confidence, and it is paying dividends.

The Rwandan captain and her teammates are enjoying a 2-0 winning start and are looking forward to more conquests in the competition.

“I feel great because we got our second straight win in our pool. We won this game against hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina and before that we won against Poland who are a good and tall team,” Mukobwankawe said.

“We will still play two matches against Hungary and Ukraine, and we cannot wait to play against them. We have a strong, fighting team now.”

She witnessed Rwanda’s development in the last decade as captain and with an experienced tactician like Mossad Elaiuty at the helm, she is convinced that there is no way but up for the African contingent.

“We were not good when we played first played at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, then we were between good and bad in Tokyo 2020. But now, we are really experienced and with an expert coach from Egypt, we learned and improved further,” she said.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by World ParaVolley (@worldparavolley)

The World Championships in Sarajevo is a celebration of years of training, hard work and sacrifice, but mostly a celebration of camaraderie among sitting volleyball teams.

“Because of COVID we weren’t even sure that we could compete here. And Rwanda is quite far from Bosnia and Herzegovina too, so we travelled long to Sarajevo. I am just excited to be here,” the 33-year-old said.

“Winning here makes us happy. It’s a kind of celebration for the team. We are always happy even when we are losing because when you are a person with a disability, coming to play in an event like this opens your mind to enjoy and gain experience, and meet others with the same passion.”

Her vibrant outlook on Para sport is also what’s raising Rwanda’s flag of success.

“My advice for people with disabilities is not to be intimidated and not think that they cannot do anything. Disability is not inability. I would like to encourage them to get into sport because there are many different sports we all can get into and succeed. Maybe I cannot do anything in my country as a regular person but I am raising the Rwandan flag because of what I am doing in sport.”