43rd annual National Inter-School Athletics Championships All set and ready | 13 June 2019
Saturday June 15 is the chosen date for this year’s annual National Inter-School Athletics Championships which will gather young athletes from Mahe and the inner islands who will battle in 100 track and field events.
Traditionally held on June 29 to commemorate Independence Day, the event was then switched to June 18 in 2015, before it was changed again, after President Danny Faure announced in his State-of-the-Nation address in February 2017 that the event will no longer be held on June 18, which is now Constitution Day.
This year’s event will begin at 10am at Stad Linite. The heats for secondary schools and post secondary institutions took place on Tuesday April 9, while the heats for primary schools were held the following day.
As for the inners islands, the heats took place on Thursday April 18.
Hosted by the department of education, the event will officially be launched by Minister for Education and Human Resources Development Jeanne Simeon and according to physical education and co-curriculum support section director Wilfred Adrien, everything is almost in place for the 43rd championships.
The sports day will begin with the traditional march past featuring all the participating athletes, before the taking of oaths by representatives of athletes and officials.
Being an annual event which keeps exposing new talents, should the championships be seen as an opportunity to just win more medals and retain cups, or should it be seen as the perfect occasion for the young athletes to showcase their talents, thus being recognised by the authority responsible to develop and realise their full potential?
With the 10th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) scheduled for Mauritius not far away, it will be interesting to see the performances of our local track and field athletes at the Games, based on the positive results gathered over the years of hosting the National Inter-School Athletics Championships.
Last year’s event produced nine new records, with La Digue primary school’s Christian Françoise rewriting two of them.
Françoise set a new record in the boys’ under-10 sack race by clocking 16.3 seconds to better the old record of 16.7 seconds previously held by Dean Marie of Anse Aux Pins primary.
His other feat was in the boys’ under-10 5×80m relay where, along with his La Digue teammates they smashed the old record of 1:00.5 seconds set by Anse Aux Pins primary in 2009, replacing it with a new time of 59.41 seconds.
In the girls’ under-10 mini hurdles, Grace Weaver from Vijay International School clocked 10.9 seconds to erase Mont Fleuri’s Nyra Phare’s previous record of 11.2 seconds set in 2016.
The Anse Royale primary team in the girls’ under-8 4x60m relay were also among the record breakers last year where they finished in 41.61 seconds, erasing the old record of 41.94 seconds previously held by Anse Boileau primary.
Gael Denis of Port Glaud primary also went into the record books last year, after getting a new record in the boys’ under-12 100m race where he finished in 13.4 seconds, replacing Gael Alexis’ record of 13.6 seconds set back in 2008.
In the girls’ under-14 high jump, Neesha Esther of La Digue cleared the bar at 1.52m to better the performance Plaisance’s Charlaine Lafortune which was 1.50m.
Sprinter Denzel Adam who competed in the boys’ under-18 200m race, clocked 21.87 seconds to improve the old time of 22.2 seconds previously held by Anse Boileau secondary’s Jalyl Servina.
In the boy’s under-18 high jump, Anse Royale secondary’s Joshua Onezime cleared the bar at 2m for a new record, replacing the 14-year-old record of 1.98m set by English River’s Hezron Etienne set in 2004.
Tessy Bristol of the Seychelles Institute of Technology also set a new record in the girls’ open 200m race, clocking 26.31 seconds to replace Marie-Michelle Athanase’s old record of 26.64 seconds set in 2011.
With a grand total of 133 points after winning six gold medals, three silver and a bronze, La Digue Primary School won both the girls’ and boys’ under 10 cups for a third consecutive time, pushing La Rosière Primary School into second place on 89 points, while Anse Royale Primary finished third after collecting 88 points.
In the secondary school category, Anse Royale collected a final total of 307 points with 14 gold medals, seven silver and four bronze to win their seventh cup in arrow, finishing ahead of Plaisance who were second on 233 points and La Digue were third on 224 points.
For the post secondary category, SIT collected 125 points to dethrone the Seychelles Business Studies Academy, after winning nine gold medals, two silver and four bronze.
The Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD) finished second on 85 points, ahead of the Seychelles Tourism Academy who were third on 83 points.
Among the cups for grab at Saturday’s championships are the President’s Cup for Fair Play at primary, secondary and post-secondary levels, spectators’ cup, girls’ under-8, boys’ under-8, girls’ under-10, boys’ under-10, girls’ under-12, boys’ under-12, girls’ under-14, boys’ under-14, girls’ under-16, boys’ under-16, girls’ under-18, boys’ under-18, girls’ open, boys’ open, special under-14 primary cup, best small primary school cup, most gold medals cup, young athletes health promotion cup and best overall school cup.