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National Schools Athletics Championships |22 April 2023

National Schools Athletics Championships

Messrs Pillay (left) and Adrien during Thursday’s press conference

45th championships postponed due to renovation of venue


Following their return last year after an absence of two years due the Covid-19 pandemic, the much-anticipated annual National Inter-Schools Athletics Championships have once again been put on hold this year due to the ongoing renovation work on the tartan track of Stad Linite.

The annual event is the perfect opportunity for exposure, thus the ideal occasion for young athletes to showcase their talents and be recognised by the authority responsible to help them develop and realise their full potential.

Director general for allied education services, Cyril Pillay, announced the decision to postpone the 45th event on Thursday during a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Education, in the presence of director for physical education and extra-curricular activities Wilfred Adrien.

Mr Pillay explained that, along with other partners, including the National Sports Council (NSC), the youth and sports department, and the Seychelles Athletics Federation (SAF), they are monitoring the renovation work, and once completed they will come up with a new date for the annual event which normally takes place on June 18 ‒ which is Constitutional Day, a public holiday in Seychelles.

He said all head teachers had been informed beforehand regarding the postponement so that the schools can prepare their athletes in case the competition takes place this year.

Mr Pillay further noted that even though, according to plan, the renovation is expected to be completed in August, the timing of the school’s curriculum would not permit them to host the championships. 

“We recognise that in August the sea is not favourable for athletes from the inner islands to travel to Mahé, while there are also national and internal exams for secondary schools and the professional centres, along with several national events around this time,” said Mr Pillay.

He emphasised that the decision was taken in the interest of the children and made it clear that the championship has only been postponed, and not cancelled.

He added that most schools had a notion that the championships would be postponed since the renovation work is a national matter and has been in the public domain.

He said, despite of the postponement, some schools are still preparing their athletes, while others are hosting internal competitions, still as a means of preparations.

Mr Pillay further added that the ministry strongly believes in the holistic development of a child.

“We not only want our kids to excel in academics, we create an education system which prepares a child to enter the society with different social and interpersonal skills,” said Mr Pillay, who further noted that they recognise that sport is very important for one’s health and physical development, while it teaches discipline and good values which is why they emphasise on the national athletics championships and physical education.

Mr Adrien, on his part, said the national heats for this year will be done on Mahé and will include athletes from the inner islands.

He explained that after each championship, they analyse and give an overview on how to better the next one, while the ministry welcomes any ideas and suggestions from schools to improve the event.

Mr Adrien added that the refurbished facility should serve as extra motivation for the schools to perform at greater heights.


Neil Sirame






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