Young and seasoned athletes voice concerns during forum |25 June 2022
Five days after the hosting of the 44th National Inter-School Athletics Championship, gold medallists at secondary and post-secondary levels joined some seasoned athletes in a forum on the ‘Importance of family support for sports progress’.
It was the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family who organised the forum with the aim of getting the athletes to voice out their concerns on family support.
The event took place at the Olympic House, Roche Caïman on Olympic Day, June 23.
Youth and sports principal secretary Ralph Jean-Louis, Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (Socga) president Antonio Gopal, Alain Alcindor of the National Sports Council were among the guests.
Some of the points raised during the forum are: meals should be prepared and ready for them when they come home from training, sports uniforms should be ready for them to use for training the next day.
“As the mandate of the youth and sports department is to draft different policies concerning the youth, therefore for us to be able to have a better policy we need to have the views of the youths. Since the theme for this year is ‘My Family My Heart’ and with the month of June dedicated to the family, we chose the theme ‘Importance of family support for sports progress’ because we see it important for the athletes,” said Beguitta Jeannevol from the department of youth and sports.
She added that with this theme they want to emphasise to athletes the importance of family support, how they can contribute towards their family and in return get back the support. The young athletes were chosen because many of them lack experience and by mingling with experienced athletes, they can be better informed on the challenges involved in sports.
Serena Camille, an athlete from the Seychelles Business Studies Academy (SBSA), said she has learned that an athlete needs a lot of support not only from family members, but also from friends.
She stated that they recognise that as young athletes they may face a lot of difficulties but they should not give up, but rather think of why they chose to do that particular sport activity.
Camille added that an athlete should also balance his/her personal life, sporting life and also time for the family.
Table tennis player Christy Kilindo has been practicing this sport for more than 18 years and she said the forum was interesting for the experienced athletes whereby they got the chance to share their personal experiences with the young athletes on the challenges they face in their families when performing in Seychelles and abroad.
She said she hopes the sports department takes note of all the concerns raised by the athletes and continue to find ways to give the athletes support not only for big games such as the Commonwealth or Olympic Games but also for minor games.
Miss Jeannevol of the youth and sports department said they have taken note of all the concerns raised by the athletes and will be meeting with various divisions within the ministry to discuss these issues.
She also said that the ministry is planning the same forum for athletes on Praslin and La Digue.
During the forum, Socga president Antonio Gopal read out the Olympic Day message from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.