Renovation of sports facilities to be done in phases, says Finance Minister Hassan |10 June 2022
Finance, National Planning and Trade Minister Naadir Hassan has said renovation of major sports facilities in the country will be done in phases, taking into account budgetary constraints and the bad state of the facilities which will come very costly to renovate.
Minister Hassan made the statement following a visit yesterday morning to the sports complex at Roche Caïman, Stad Popiler in Victoria and the sports complex at Anse Royale. He was accompanied by a delegation comprising Minister for Youth, Sports and Family Marie Céline Zialor, principal secretary for youth and sports Ralph Jean-Louis, chief executive of the National Sports Council (NSC) Jean Larue, Honourable Wavel Woodcock, chairperson of the Media, Youth, Sports and Culture Committee (MYCC) in the National Assembly, among others.
“The aim of the visit was for me to see in what state those infrastructure are and also for me to learn of the sports department and NSC’s plan to renovate and redevelop them,” said Minister Hassan.
Minister Hassan stated that the sports venues on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue have been neglected over the years, with no proper maintenance and renovation planning.
He added that the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade is working on a comprehensive plan on how to finance their maintenance and renovation to bring them to a high standard.
“From this visit, I now have a clear understanding of how things are and this will help us better assist the sports division when we do our budget planning,” said Minister Hassan.
Minister Hassan further said that while the ministry has this year budgeted for the renovation of the Anse Royale sports complex (R3.75 million), Palais des Sports (R2 million), La Digue sports complex (R1.75 million) and some other sports facilities(R1.5 million), it is also seeking for additional resources through public private partnership to fast-track the maintenance and renovation processes of other sports facilities as this has not been budgeted.
“It is not something that could be done in one go as there is a lot of work to be done. We have a programme in place to upgrade the sports facilities which will be done on a yearly basis,” Minister Hassan said.
On her part, Youth, Sports and Family Minister Marie-Celine Zialor said the youth and sports department was happy to have been able to bring onboard Minister Hassan and his team to see for themselves the state of the facilities and the work that will have to be done to maintain and renovate them.
She noted that the sports division expects more budget support from the finance ministry for the renovation of those sporting infrastructure.
As to whether the renovations will be ready in time for the athletes in their preparation for forthcoming major games such as the …….XXII Commonwealth Games starting as from next month, in Birmingham, England, the Indian Ocean Games in Madagascar in 2023,and the Jeux de la Francophonie in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2023, Minister Zialor stated that all high level athletes for such high level competitions are training overseas but she called on other athletes to be patient and to use the facilities available for their training while renovation works on the sports facilities are advancing.
“We do not want to do quick fix. We want to do something that will last. And while the work will take some time, we will be trying our maximum to complete them as quickly as possible,” said Minister Zialor who also acknowledged the support from MYCC to her ministry.
Minister Zialor also called on athletes and the general public to use the facilities well while they await for renovation works to take place. She has also launched an appeal to all who wish to contribute financially or through their expertise towards the renovation of the sports facilities to come forward.
Hon. Woodcock said the MYCC which has the mandate to oversee that sports pledges are delivered, is happy to have been invited for the visit which will put them in a better position to follow the renovation process to ensure that the work is delivered to the required standard.
The visit started at Stad Linite, then moved to the NSC Hall, Omnisports Gym, tennis courts, swimming pool and the Palais des Sports at Roche Caïman, and Stad Popiler in Victoria. In the afternoon, the delegation headed to Anse Royale to visit the sports complex.
The accompanying photos were taken by Joena Meme during the visit.