Handball: 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games 2023 – Madagascar |06 January 2023
Handball sets the ball rolling for 11th regional Games
Early into the new year, the Seychelles Handball Federation is already gearing up for the 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games scheduled to take place in Madagascar later during the year, calling up the country’s men and women’s pre-selections for training which will begin next week.
The men’s selection will train under the guidance of head coach Tony Hortere and assistant Freddy Annette, while Danny Philoé with the assistance of Williana Dubois will take charge of the women’s selection.
Speaking to Sport NATION, chairman of the Seychelles Handball Federation (SHF) Norbert Dogley said even if they are starting the preparation early during the year, they are already late in terms of preparations, since the Games are only six months away.
He explained that without competition for the past two years due to restrictions in movement as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as renovation work on the Palais des Sports which is the main handball venue, it is crucial that they set the ball rolling as soon as possible since the players have been inactive.
Mr Dogley further noted that since it is already late, they will work intensely during the first few weeks so that by March, the cut-down selections could go through more technical and specialised training programmes in preparation for the Games.
He said they have received the green light from the principal secretary for youth and sports Ralph Jean-Louis to use the Palais des Sports for training purposes only, and not for competition since renovation works are still ongoing.
The men’s pre-selection is made up of Kieran Jean, Dyan Azemia, Shawn Hertel, Kenny Joseph, Curtis Esther, Donovan Corgat, Laphonso Joubert, Alex Monthy (Durantha Brothers), Loutherd Amblavaney, Alister Amblavaney, Michel Dugasse, Ian Loizeau, Roger Bristol, Leroy Laure, Mael Florentine (Super 8), Dott Melanie Sebastien Toussaint, Kieron Esther, Alphius Franchette, Damio Ernesta, Freddy Chang-Sam, Perry Sinon, Eron Lajoie, Steven Nanon, Micheal Kilindo, Julius Annette (AC Brothers), Brayan Malbrook, Graham Bristol, Yuri Flore, Barry Moustache, Rasheed Marie, Calvin Malbrook, Cody Lesperance and Cyrence Athanase (PTL Brothers).
As for the women’s selection, it is made up of Telma Sauzier, Christel Sedgwick, May-Rose Sinon, Mikella Mondon, Sheila Marie, Dania Corgat, Stephanie Anderson, Megan Dine, Lisa Memée, Derbra Volcy (Au Cap Sisters), Annette Henriette, Gracey Johnson, Quiney Hertel, Marie-Claire Damoo, Marie-Claire Samynadin, Nathalie Samynadin, Shyla Joubert, Claire Marguerite, Francel Marie, Nasha Cafrine, Leah Esther, Chloe Hoareau, Mariella Barreau (MF Storm), Effie Camille, Clara Payet, Stecey Marie, Hansa Freminot, Tanisha Labonte, Trisha Hortere, Chenille Mwauera (Anse Royale Sisters), Amy Bristol, Shantina Radegonde, Ginnie Hoareau (APC Sisters), Pearl Mellie, Itarra Lagrenade, Kursha Loizeau, Dania Adrienne and Rudy Tadagunduro (Pearl United).
All the pre-selected players should report to the Palais des Sports on Tuesday January 10 at 4.15pm with their training vests.
This year’s Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) will be Seychelles’ second handball experience after the 9th Games in 2015 in Reunion where the host country won both the men’s and women’s titles, beating Mayotte in the finals.
The country’s men’s team missed the final after losing 25-28 to Mayotte in the semifinal and then fell to Madagascar in the third place playoff match to finish fourth. Reunion beat Mayotte 26-21 in the final to win the gold medal, while Mayotte settled for silver and Madagascar was awarded the bronze medal.
Seychelles’ women’s team were also ranked fourth behind Reunion (gold medal), Mayotte (silver medal) and Madagascar (bronze medal).
Handball did not feature on the 10th Games’ calendar in 2019 in Mauritius.
The proposed sports disciplines for the 11th IOIG are athletics (track and field – handi-sport), badminton, basketball (3x3 and 5x5), boxing, cycling, equestrian, football, beach soccer, weightlifting, handball, judo, karate, kickboxing, wrestling, swimming (handi-sport), petanque, rugby (7x7 and 15x15), taekwondo, archery, tennis, table tennis, yachting, volleyball, beach volleyball and surfing.
It is to note that the Maldives were the initial hosts of the 11th Games, but they withdrew from hosting in January 2021 and were replaced by Madagascar.
The IOIG – French (Jeux des îles de l'Océan Indien) – are a quadrennial multi-sport event reserved for Indian Ocean island nations.
The Games were created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1977 and currently gather the island nations and territories of Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion and the Maldives.
The number of athletes who participate has increased over the years, it went from 1,000 in 1979 to over 1,500 participants in 2003 and 2007 and over 2,000 participants in 2019.
From 1947 until 1963, a precursor called Indian Ocean Games Triangulaire was organised between Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion. In 1963, a football match in Madagascar between Mauritius and Madagascar was abandoned at 1-1 after 54 minutes, and Madagascar declared themselves as winners of the tournament.
After this match Mauritius refused to play and the tournament was not held again.
In 1974, the Regional Olympic Committee of Réunion decided to organise a multi-sport competition in the Indian Ocean.
This was adopted by the International Olympic Committee in 1976.
The competition was initially called the 'Indian Ocean Games', but the name was changed to the 'Indian Ocean Islands Games' before the first games, without the participation of Sri Lanka, which was initially included.
The objectives of the games are to contribute to regional cooperation through the development of sport in the region; build friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the islands of the Indian Ocean, in the spirit of Olympism; allow athletes to have, every four years, a competition whose interest and level are commensurate with the real sport of the region; and create a regional event whose repercussions will ensure the development of infrastructure of countries in the area.
In 2019, the games involved seven islands, 14 disciplines and 2,000 athletes.