Interviews with Sportsman of the Year Allan Julie and Sportswoman of the Year Alisen Camille


24-January-2012

Six-time Sportsman of the Year JulieJulie, who had last won the title in 2005, extended his record number of wins to six and said he is still hungry for more of the country's sports personality title.

“I’m happy I’ve won the Sportsman of the Year title a record sixth time,” Julie told Sports Nation.
“It was only two days before the crowning ceremony that I really understood the criteria, but I was not quite sure of winning. This is because I had only taken part in two international competitions where I achieved very good results,” added Julie.

He won the Laser sailing gold medal at the 10th All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique – four years after settling for the silver behind South African Gareth Blanckenberg in Algiers, Algeria – and the gold medal in the same event at the 8th Indian Ocean Island Games. Julie was also the team’s coach at both Games.

In a league of his own thanks to previous Sportsman of the Year title wins in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005, Julie says he is still hungry for more of the country’s sports personality title.

“I want to win the title again this year but I’m not sure of what’s in store for me. I’m supposed to meet officials of the Seychelles Yachting Association and the National Sports Council later this week to decide my future as a coach and sailor.

“If I get a good deal, I’ll continue working here. And this is my wish. But if not, I’ll have to move to Europe and look for a coaching job there,” added Julie.

Speaking of his objective for the 2012 season, the Laser sailor says he wants to qualify for the XXX Olympic Games in London, England, but all will depend on the outcome of this week’s meeting.

“Like I said, it will suit me best to continue working in Seychelles and train. But if I have to move to Europe, I won’t be able to do coaching and train at the same time. The last Olympic qualifier is in Germany in May and is sure to be tough as we don’t know of the weather condition we will experience and there will be many sailors from Europe and South America making a last attempt at qualifying for London,” noted Julie.

Julie, who has represented Seychelles four times – in 1996 in Atlanta, USA (36th overall), in 2000 in Sydney, Australia (27th overall), in 2004 in Athens, Greece (20th overall) and in 2008 in  Beijing, China (32nd overall)  – at the Olympic Games , qualified for the biggest multi-sports Games three times – in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Back to the Sports Awards of the Year ceremony, Julie said the time has come for the organisers to increase the prize-money.
“It’s time the prize money be revised. Since winning the title for the first time in 2000, I’ve been receiving R15,000. The prize-getters should at least be rewarded with R25,000,” concluded Julie.

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‘The winning feeling is good’

Sportswoman of the Year Camille“The winning feeling is good and I hope it will last quite a long time. I also want to enjoy more wins.”
Badminton player Alisen Camille said this two days after claiming the Sportswoman of the Year title for the first time on Friday at the International Conference Centre.

“I was kind of frightened when they called out my name, but I soon regained composure to go on stage and collect the big prize. Before the crowning ceremony, I knew I had a chance of winning the title after reading about the criteria set by the selection committee and judged my results with those of the other contenders.

Camille won two silver medals in the mixed doubles and women’s doubles as well as a bronze in the mixed team event at the 10th All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique. She also captured a gold medal in the women’s doubles, two silver in the mixed doubles and team event, and a bronze in the women’s singles at the 8th Indian Ocean Island Games held here.

“The title will certainly bring a positive change to my life. I’ve already started feeling the responsibility that comes with winning such a title. It’s as if you’re under a microscope and people are following your every move. I also see myself as a role model for other athletes,” added Camille.

Chosen as Young Female Athlete of the Year 2009 title, the 19-year-old has said she is determined to work hard to keep the cup at the end of the 2012 season.

“I’ve already started training for the Thomas & Uber Cup slated for Ethiopia in February and I want to make a good impression and win something. I also hope to take part in other competitions this year to bolster my chances of retaining the title,” she said.

Camille is thankful to cousin Juliette Ah-Wan – a two-time former Sportswoman of the Year in 2000 and 2007 – for being a motivator, although she can hardly remember the success achieved by his uncle Rival Payet (formerly Cadeau) the southpaw boxer and winner of the Sportsman of the Year title in 1989, 1993, 1994 and 1995.

“Juliette showed me that the only way to achieve success is through hard work. And I’m thankful to her for guiding me all this time.

“I was too young to remember my uncle Rival in action, but I’m glad he paved the way to success for us. This proves that we are a family of champions,” said the Bel Air resident.

G. G.

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