Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association-Seminar showcases benefits of sports for women


Minister Mondon addressing guests and delegates at the official launch of the seminar

Mrs Mondon was addressing delegates at the official launch of the two-day Women and Sports seminar being held at the National Baha’i Centre at Bel Air.

Organised by Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (Socga), the seminar is aimed at encouraging women to take an active part in sports and sports administration.

It is covering various aspects touching women and their involvement in sports, including successes in their endeavours as female athletes, coaches and administrators.

Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton, principal secretary for community development and sports Denis Rose, principal secretary for social affairs Linda William Melanie, Socga president Antonio Gopal and Socga executive committee members were among those present at the launch.

Mrs Mondon said the government has over the years taken initiatives and steps at various levels from the Constitution, to enact laws and policies to give better enabling environments for the improved involvement of women in all spheres of development.

However, she said, despite these strides in facilitating the empowerment of women, it is generally recognised that women continue to be under-represented in decision-making positions in some sectors of our society, including in the field of sports.

She also noted that women in general are confronted by a variety of issues that are quite distinct from that of their male counterpart in sports.

“Such challenges including the general lack of investment in empowering women to be able to assume management and leadership roles in sports, coupled by our already limited human resource base is in many ways limiting the healthy development of sports,” she added.

She also said, locally, sports programmes have been successful at reducing restrictions and offering girls and women greater mobility. 

Mrs Mondon added that sports can help reduce the social isolation that many women and girls experience, particularly those who live in poverty and are marginalised within their communities and sometimes families. 

“Through sport, women and girls can find safe places to gather, acquire new interpersonal networks, develop a sense of identity and access new opportunities, often allowing them to become more engaged in community life,” she added.

On behalf of Socga, Mr Gopal said it is the association’s duty to encourage more girls and women to be actively involved in sports.

He said research has proven that girls who are active in sports excel in their academic performance, as sports enhance the mental capacity.

He added that sports also boost self confidence, promote a healthy life and most of all keep young girls away from substance abuse.

Mr Gopal also explained that sports provide a more healthy transition from young age to adulthood and the earlier one starts practicing sports activities, the longer he or she will remain active.

Among the topics that are being covered in the seminar are women participation in the Olympic Games, coaching and administration, volunteerism, doping, leadership in sports, sports, women and HIV, and women achievement in sports.

Guests and seminar delegates in a family photo

The guest speakers include Alain Alcindor from Socga, Bernard Denis from the Sports Training Centre, Giovanna Rousseau and Robert Auguste from the National Sports Council, Paul Nioze from the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation, Georgette Furneau from the Ministry of Health, Ulrich Mathiot from the Seychelles Football Federation and Thyra Faure.

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