Government will provide athletes with the best opportunities to enhance their performance and help them perform better at competitions, either locally, regionally, or internationally.
This was the gist of the message of the Prime Minister, yesterday evening, at a gathering held at the Côte D’Or National Sports Complex, for the athletes who participated in the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) 2023.
Among those present at today’s ceremony were the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, Mr Jean Christophe Stephan Toussaint; the President of the Mauritius Olympic Committee, Mr Philip Hao Thyn Voon Ha Shun; as well as other personalities.
The Prime Minister recalled that the Government has at heart the welfare of sportspersons. Its vision is to provide athletes with the necessary tools and infrastructure to allow them to excel in local, regional and international competitions, he noted. He moreover, pointed out that for these Games, 281 medals, namely, 91 gold medals, 87 silver medals and, 103 bronze medals were won compared to 224 medals in the 2019 IOIG.
Mr Jugnauth, also lauded the particularly outstanding feats of athletes such as Noa Bibi, Jean Yann Carre, Christopher Sophie, Liliane Potiron, Ashley Telvave, Anndora Asaun, Eddy Capdor, Jean Francois Desire Seneque, Brandy Perrine and, Tessa Ip Hen Cheung, who have set new records in athletics, para-athletics and swimming.
Acknowledging that this achievement was a result of their perseverance, the determination to do better each time and, appropriate team building, amongst others, the Prime Minister commended each athlete, in particular those who did not bring medals and highlighted that each participation is an opportunity to gain experience and evolve further.
The need for good mentoring to support athletes, including technicians and staff who have the experience to give guidance and medical assistance were also underlined by Mr Jugnauth. “The medical staff played a very important role during the Games and used Cryotherapy and other equipment provided to them at the Games to care for our athletes,” he recalled.
Speaking of the Côte D’Or National Complex, the Prime Minister underpinned that the high-performance complex is a showcase for excellence and an example of well invested capital, the proof being the results that our athletes have brought.
He further dwelt on funding that Government invests in the sports sector, such as the provision of Rs 91 million on preparation and participation costs of athletes for the Games and on their awards and; a total of Rs 16 million to award 308 athletes and 67 coaches a cash prize after the Games.
Minister Toussaint, for his part, highlighted that this event has as objective to honour the exceptional performance accomplished by athletes at the IOIG 2023 held from 25 August 2023 to 03 September 2023 in Madagascar. He further claimed that this achievement at the IOIG 2023 was the most impressive victory achieved by Team Mauritius on foreign lands at an Island Games.
As for Mr Hao Thyn Voon Ha Shun, he indicated that the athletes have not only demonstrated exceptional talent but also embodied true sportsmanship, determination and resilience at the Games. He encouraged them to consider these Games as an important milestone in their sporting journey and added that the road ahead is not only full of challenges but also of opportunities that can be used as inspiration to work even harder.