Creating Seychelles’ national Paralympic committee- Interim team needs to be set up to set the ball rolling


Last Thursday’s meeting in session

This is one of the recommendations made by the two-man United Kingdom (UK) Paralympics delegation at the end of the their two-week working visit here.

Elias Musangeya, senior development consultant at UK Sport and Rwanda National Paralympics Committee boss Dominique Bizimana met Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Minister Vincent Meriton last Thursday at his Oceangate House office to discuss what they have seen here.

Also present at the meeting were community development and sports principal secretary Denis Rose; National Sports Council chief executive Alain Volcère; Dan Frichot, special adviser on community development to the Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports; sports policy analyst Jean Larue; and senior programme assistant Rolly Barbé.

The interim committee will be headed by NSC chief executive Volcère for one year and after that there will be election for office bearers.

Other recommendations include:
- That data/statistics on people with impairment are updated as such information is vital for onward planning
- That the authorities concerned endeavour to provide or improve accessibility of wheel-chair bound persons and other impairment at public buildings and sports venues
- That the sports ministry and the NSC consider making available some funds to enable the sport to go through the initial stages of development
- That the Paralympic committee of Seychelles establishes a meaningful partnership with the Paralympic Association of Rwanda.
During their two-week stay here, the two-man delegation also organised a ‘Get inspired festival’ at the Palais des Sports on Saturday March 23.

Representatives of the deaf, and blind associations, School for the Exceptional Child and the rehabilitation centre, parents, coaches and other volunteers took part in the fun-filled day run by Mr Bizimana.

It was fun and encouraging to see Seychellois who aspire to one day take part in the Paralympic Games got a feel of three of the activities – sitting volleyball, boccia and goalball – they can take up.

Minister Meriton, and Mr Volcère did not miss the opportunity to see the Seychellois in action. They even had a chat with the athletes, encouraging them to pursue practising these sports.

Seychellois learning to play boccia during ‘Get inspired festival’

Rwanda National Paralympics Committee boss Bizimana represented Rwanda at last year’s Paralympics Games in London, United Kingdom.  A Tutsi who lost the lower half of his left leg fighting for the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Mr Bizimana has since retired from playing sitting volleyball.

Holder of a doctorate degree in education and former director general of Zimbabwe sports and recreation, Mr Musangeya is a senior development consultant at UK Sport.

Their visit here was made possible by the Seychelles government and the British high commission, and it came less than a year after Minister Meriton represented President James Michel, who had been invited by the UK government, at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics Games (from August 29 to September 9, 2012).

In his meeting with Henry Bellingham MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who has the ministerial portfolio for Africa, Minister Meriton discussed the possibility of working in partnership with the UK to develop sports and the social renaissance initiative here.

The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy.

There are winter and summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee.

Classification is a unique element of Paralympic sports, intended to ensure fair competition. As each sport at the Paralympic Games requires different skills and competencies, the impact of impairment on the performance of the athletes varies. This is why it is important for each sport to have its own unique classification rules.

To be able to compete in the Paralympic Games, Seychelles needs to first set up a local Paralympics association which will be affiliated to the International Paralympics Committee before the end of the year.

G. G.

Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *