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Cuba and Seychelles to strengthen cooperation within the youth and sports domain   |09 November 2021

Cuba and Seychelles to strengthen cooperation within the youth and sports domain   

From left to right: Ms Hoareau, Minister Zialor, Mrs Thelemaque-Ernesta, Ambassador Hernández Caneiro and Mr Méndez Parra

Recently accredited Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to the Republic of Seychelles, Martha Hernández Caneiro paid a courtesy call on the Youth, Sports and Family Minister Marie-Celine Zialor yesterday at Family House, Bel Eau.

Pertinent discussions focused on strengthening collaboration within the youth and sports areas specifically professional sports development, capacity building, sports medicine, and youth cultural exchanges between both countries.

Ambassador Caneiro recalled an agreement previously signed between Cuba and Seychelles on the bilateral within sports and that the embassy is in the process of submitting an updated agreement to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport. She reiterated Cuba’s success on the international sports scene, securing medals at the Olympic Games in boxing, volleyball, gymnastics and basketball among other sports disciplines.

Both parties discussed opportunities for sports development in Seychelles, citing possibilities for training camp exchanges for national teams, professional athlete development in collaboration with Cuba’s well-versed Institute of Sports (equivalent to the ministry of sports), capacity building for sporting officials and their anti-doping programme boasting the most modern technology.

Minister Zialor welcomed these sports initiatives as they align with the ministry’s goal to acquire the first Olympic gold medal for Seychelles.

“We are serious about our high-level programme and securing our first Olympic medal. With the support of the International Olympic Committee we are launching our project nicknamed Road to Paris 2024 and Road to LA 2028 this Friday, and with the different cooperation we can implement and advance the sporting agenda,” Minister Zialor said.

She added that the National Sports Council (NSC) is in the process of restructuring and re-classifying sports and will give prominence to sports disciplines that secure medals.

Aside from the competitive aspects, Minister Zialor is hopeful that sports development in Seychelles will help improve health and overcome social ills in the country. “Unfortunately, we have an obese population with a prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and substance abuse. Sports can be the solution to address these ills and our population needs to adopt a healthier lifestyle to improve their quality of life,” she said.

Both parties also explored the possibility of youth cultural exchanges to improve the local creative industry. Preliminary discussions led towards school artistic development namely classical music and ballet/dance among other arts, to have as many diverse activities for youth to partake in, thus, alleviating the space for social ills.

Seychelles and Cuba are set to ink their cooperation once the updated agreement is agreed upon.

Also present at the meeting were Ambassador Caneiro’s husband, Tomás Méndez Parra, who is also the minister councilor at the Cuban embassy, foreign affairs’ principal counselor Myrna Hoareau and the ministry’s international cooperation officer Sharon Thelemaque-Ernesta.

Cuba and Seychelles established diplomatic relations in 1978. In recent years, two Cuban trainers were working with our local sportsmen and sportswomen namely athletics and boxing.



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