Minister calls for more youth development programmes


Minister Meriton delivering his speechHe was addressing guests at the 29th Sports Awards of the Year crowning ceremony, which this year coincided with activities to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the National Sports Council (NSC).

The event, which took place last Friday at the International Conference Centre, was attended by President James Michel, Vice-President Danny Faure, cabinet ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, senior sports officials, family members of the athletes and representatives of the sponsors, among other guests.

Mr Meriton said despite the efforts by sporting federations to include youth development programmes in their structures, there is still a lot to be done.

This, he said, is vital if they want to further prosper and gain more members, if they want to bring their sports to a higher level and if they want to produce quality athletes.

He said throughout its 30 years of existence, the NSC has set up a network of sports infrastructure across the country, benefiting sports at both leisure and competitive level.

He explained that during the 30 years, the council, through a well-structured organisation and good partnership with the sporting bodies has also set up various youth development programmes.

He added that since setting up the NSC, the country has hosted various regional competitions and Games, including two Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l'Océan Indien (CJSOI) Games and two Indian Ocean Island Games. This, he said, has boosted the country’s ability to organise international events as well as improve the performance of our athletes.

Mr Meriton added that during the past 30 years, Seychellois athletes have taken part and won medals at various major Games, such as Commonwealth Games, Jeux de la Francophonie and world championships.

“The most memorable moment of the 2012 sporting calendar was Team Seychelles’ involvement at the XXX Olympic Games in London,” he added.

Mr Meriton also said the opportunity given to athletes to compete at the Olympics was worth it, as it honoured their commitment and devotion all throughout their preparation, even if they did not win any medal.

“We, however, wish that the experience gathered at the Games serves as inspiration on their way to future success,” he added.

Mr Meriton also expressed his gratitude towards the NSC’s management, board, and staff for their good vision, commitment and good management of resources. He also thanked all the sporting partners and sponsors for their loyal and continuous contributions.

R. D.