Interview with Sportswoman of the Year Felicity Passon | 20 May 2020
Passon raring to go
Reigning Sportswoman of the Year Felicity Passon has revealed that she is raring to go after a two-month forced break during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Speaking to Sports NATION this week, our golden girl said that she is still waiting to get going with her training in preparation for the summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan next July.
“Currently, I’m waiting for the swimming pool and all the sports facilities to reopen as I’m very eager to get back in and train on a full schedule like I had been doing prior to the coronavirus pandemic and right now I just want to get into the pool and get into a good routine again,” Passon told Sports NATION.
Swimmer Passon, who took the 10th Indian Ocean Islands Games in Mauritius last year by storm with a seven gold-medal haul, was training in South Africa at the Tuks Aquatic club in Pretoria as she geared up her preparation for the scheduled Summer Olympics in Tokyo in July 2020 before all her plans were rattled with the global COVID-19 pandemic which forced her to return home in mid-March.
20-year-old Passon then saw her dream of competing at the Olympic Games put on hold when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) took this huge decision to postpone this world games for a year to July 2021.
As a result, this affected Passon’s plans as she had deferred her studies for a year in the United States of America at the South Methodist University where she was majoring in Psychology so as to pursue her goal of a good showing at the Olympics with a whole year of training.
“I am a bit disappointed that the Olympics have been postponed to next year as it disrupted my personal programme as I had taken a year sabbatical leave to concentrate on my training as I wanted to make a good impression at the Olympics but I can understand the reason and at this conjuncture health comes first,” Passon said to the media just after the news that the Olympics had been called off.
Nonetheless, Passon remained positive about the situation as she urged other athletes to stay calm and hope that things would improve in a couple of months, stating that she has learned to accept the uncertainty of everything during this pandemic and added that one can only wait and be patient as well as hope for the best.
After enjoying a break from her gruelling training which she has become accustomed to over the last five years as she rose to stardom, Passon is now focused on getting back to her usual routine.
“I want to build my endurance back again, my physical strength and also my mentality but it will surely be tougher as I will have to combine my studies with training as I am due back at university in the US in August to continue my degree and it is also where I will be doing my preparation for the Olympics. But I will have more stress than I did this past year as I took a gap year from school, so it will definitely be much harder,” expressed Passon.
Passon was also asked to speak about the uncertainty sports personalities like herself who are on the high level programme and face the possibility of budget cut under this programme in the light of the current dire economic situation since the country has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now I don’t have any fears in regards for sponsorship as I am trying to stay positive and just focus on getting back in shape and in full swing. However, if it does happen that high level sportsmen are affected, it will create a lot of problems for myself and other athletes,” reflected Passon.
However, Passon was optimistic about the future and praised the enthusiasm of local sportsmen during these difficult times where most people are taking things in their stride.
“I am so proud to see many Seychellois exercising and getting active which is a good initiative in taking their health and wellness more seriously,” related Passon who also had to abandon plans to compete in top European and African competitions this year such as the Mare Nostrum swimming series which was to begin in Monaco as well as two other European cities next month.