NSC’s four ministers, four PS, four heads


NSC's  commemorative banner

In fact, organised sport in Seychelles started in 1977 under the leadership of John Pillay, a senior sports officer.

Ogilvy Berlouis was named the first sports minister and his principal secretary was the late Ralph Adam, father of current Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam.

Seychelles joined the international sporting arena in 1979 after the formation of the National Olympic Committee, now Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (Socga).

 The first international competition Seychellois athletes took part in was the first Indian Ocean Island Games in 1979 in Reunion.

Local athletes, who took part in 10 of the 13 sports, returned home from Reunion with 29 medals – 11 gold, eight silver and 10 bronze.

The next big event Seychellois sportsmen and women were involved in was the Olympic Games in 1980 in Moscow.

With the enactment of the National Sports Council in May 1982, the local governing sports body was placed under the Ministry of Youth and Defence. The late John Mascarenhas was appointed chairman and Antonio Gopal the secretary.

 Antonio Gopal also managed the National Sports Council secretariat.

Thirty years since, the National Sports Council has known four ministers, four principal secretaries and four heads – firstly under the heading director, then managing director and lately chief executive officer.

Mr Berlouis was the sports minister from 1982 to 1985 and he was succeeded by James Michel, who is now the President of the Republic, in 1985 and he stayed in the post until 1989.

Sylvette Pool was given the responsibility of the sports ministry in 1989 and she ran the office until 2007 when she was replaced by present minister Vincent Meriton.

The late Ralph Adam was the sports principal secretary from 1982 to 1985 and his successor was Patrick Berlouis (from 1985 to 1989).

 Then came Patrick Nanty (from 1989 to 2006) and Denis Rose (from 2006 until now).

The four National Sports Council heads are Antonio Gopal (secretary and director from 1982 to 1990), Hughes Adam (director then managing director from 1991 to 2003), Eric Arnephie (managing director from 2003 to 2006) and Alain Volcère (chief executive officer from 2007 until now).

The National Sports Council board chairmen are the late John Mascarenhas (from 1982 to 1990), Patrick Nanty (from 1991 to 2006), Alain Volcère (from 2007 to 2011) and Jean Larue (from 2011 to now).

The National Sports Council’s first headquarters were based on Palm Street. They then moved to Mont Fleuri in1988 at the present Youth Centre and in late 1993 they moved to their present location – the Stade Linite – at Roche Caïman.

 The Stad Linite was built for the fourth Indian Ocean Island Games Seychelles hosted in 1993.

Meanwhile, as part of activities to celebrate 30 years of the National Sports Council, the local sports body will be organising a series of activities to celebrate the event.

 Among the activities are an exhibition on Tuesday January 22, open day school sports on Wednesday and Thursday January 23 and 24, and the 29th Sports Awards of the Year crowning ceremony on Friday January 25.

The exhibition on Tuesday January 22 will be in the lobby of the NSC headquarters at Stad Linite and will open at 10am.

School children will get the opportunity to take part in different activities at all the sports venues at Roche Caïman on Wednesday and Thursday January 23 and 24.

They don’t need to worry about transport as the NSC and the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation will make transport available for them. They will be picked up at their schools and then dropped back at the end of the activities.

Adults can also come in numbers and are being encouraged to wear their sport attires as they can take part in the sporting activities which will go on until 7pm on both days.

 There will also be zumba sessions, starting at 4.30pm and visitors can get free sessions in the gym, and use the swimming pools free of charge. There will be no free massage.

G. G.

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