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Good athletes are role models for the youth, says President Ramkalawan |29 April 2022

Good athletes are role models for the youth, says President Ramkalawan

President Ramkalawan, Minister Zialor, PS Jean-Louis and CEO Larue in a souvenir photo with the athletes and coaches (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

Whenever an athlete performs well and brings home good results, he or she becomes a role model for the younger generation, inspiring them to follow in his/her footsteps, thus bringing the country closer to the goal of clinching its first Olympic medal.

President Wavel Ramkalwan made the statement yesterday afternoon while a addressing a group of local athletes who have recently represented the country at international level, bringing home medals in boxing, swimming and weightlifting.

Also present were Minister for Youth, Sports and Family Marie-Celine Zialor, principal secretary for Youth and Sports Ralph Jean-Louis and chief executive of the National Sports Council (NSC) Jean Larue.

The boxing cohort which recently took part in the Africa Zone 4 boxing championship in Maputo, Mozambique was made up of hard-hitter Keddy Agnes, Fabio Roselie, Shain Boniface and Jovanie Bouzin.

They were accompanied by coach Rival Payet and chairman of the Seychelles Boxing Federation (SBF) Bryan Esparon.

At the Maxaquene Pavilion in Maputo, Agnes won gold in the +92kg weight category, winning by technical knockout after just 40 seconds into the first round over Alfredo Muzimba of the host country.

As for Roselie, Boniface and Bouzin they lost their bouts in the preliminary stages of the competition.

Led by coach Macdonald Henriette, along with member of the Seychelles Weightlifting Association (SWA) executive committee member Terrence Dixie, the weightlifting delegation was made up of female lifters Ruby Malvina and Romantha Larue who represented the country at the 2022 Mauritius International Open Weightlifting Championship in February.

At the competition, Malvina, who was competing in the women’s 59kg weight category won a bronze medal after being ranked third with a total of 171kg (76kg in snatch and 95kg in clean and jerk), while Larue finished second for the silver medal with 155kg (70kg in snatch and 85kg in clean and jerk) in the 87kg weight category.

Seychelleswon a gold medal through Clementina Agricole with an Olympic total of 177kg (77kg in snatch and 100kg in clean and jerk) in the women’s 59kg weight category.

Agricole was absent for yesterday’s event.

For the swimming delegation, led by chairman of the Seychelles Swimming Association (SWA) David Vidot, only three medallists at the recently-held Confédération Africaine de Natation (Cana) Zone IV swimming and open water championships in Lusaka, Zambia from April 14-18 were present at State House yesterday.They are Therese Soukup, Tyler Fred and Alain Vidot. Khema Elizabeth along with coaches Jude Vidot and Adrian Nanty were also present.

At the tournament, Soukup won a gold medal in the 800m freestyle (for women 15 to 24 years), two silver medals in the 3km open water and 400m freestyle(15 years and over), and a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle(17 to 29 years).

Fred won two gold medals in the 100m backstroke(17 to 19 years) and 4x50m freestyle relay (15 years and over).

On his part, Vidot grabbed a gold medal in the 4x50m freestyle relay (15 years and over) and bronze medal in the 3km open water.

The other Seychellois medallists at the championship but who were not present at State House yesterday are Damien Payet who won gold in 5km open water swim (12 years and over), gold in 800m freestyle for men 15 to 24 years), and bronze in 400m freestyle (15 years and over); Joshua Miller who won gold in 4x50m freestyle relay (15 years and over), gold in the 200m breaststroke (men 17-29 years), silver in 100mbreaststroke (17-29 years), and bronze in 50m breaststroke (17-29 years); and Adam Moncherry who won gold in 4x50m freestyle relay (15 years and over) and silver in 50m butterfly (17 to 29 years).

President Ramkalawan commended all three selections for their sense of solidarity and great team spirit during the competitions, whereby they pushed and supported each other, even if not all the athletes won medals.

Such character, he said, pushed all of them onto the first step of the podium, winning the heart of the whole country.

The head of state further noted that whenever an athlete or a group of athletes do well, the whole of Seychelles is a winner.

He added that with the proper mentality and discipline, Seychelles sports will no doubt achieve its objective which is to win the first Olympic medal.

President Ramkalawan also commended the coaching staff for their dedication, energy and commitment towards preparing the athletes.

He also thanked the sporting associations and federations for the support in various forms towards the success of the athletes.

Words of thanks also went to the whole country for the support and encouragement given to the athletes.

President Ramkalawan also vouched the government’s commitment and support through the sports department in terms of infrastructure facilities which he said are crucial in the preparation of young athletes towards future success.

On her part, Minister Zialor noted that her ministry believes firmly in the ability and potential of our local athletes and coaches, and the recent results bear testimony of the capability of the local sports community.

This, she said, indicates that despite several challenges, local athletes have the ability, while a small amount of negative energy keeps slowing down the progress.

With a strong sense of commitment and discipline, Minister Zialor said local sports can achieve greatness, and she urged the youth to make maximum use of all the available support from highest authority.

On behalf of all the athletes, swimmer Soukup thanked the government for the continuous support so that more young athletes get the opportunity to take part in competitions at international level.

As a sign of motivation, all the athletes received a national flag from President Ramkalawan who urged them to make it fly at the highest possible level.


Roland Duval




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