Swimming: Grand Prix competition |25 April 2023
Swimmers tested in local event prior to IOIG selection
The chance of qualifying to represent Seychelles at the forthcoming 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games 2023 scheduled to take place in Madagascar from August 23 to September 3 is still open for local swimmers, and to keep them engaged, a competition took place over the weekend, gathering swimmers from five out the locally registered clubs.
The competition – Swimming Grand Prix – held at the Roche Caïman swimming pool was also the trials for part of the Seychelles selection heading for the Confédération Africaine de Natation (Cana) Zone IV swimming championships, scheduled for Luanda, Angola from May 3-7.
The five clubs who took part were Mahé Skimmers, TOTO Sport Club, Adventure Sport Club, Aquafins and Praslin Aquatic, while La Digue stayed out as the club does not have enough swimmers to feature in every category. It, however, sent a representative to help out during the event.
Swimmers were divided into age groups ‒ under 12 years old, 13-14 years old, 15-16 years old, and 17 years old and above ‒ similar to the categories at the Cana championships.
Speaking to Sports NATION, newly appointed head coach Barnsley Albert, who is working alongside his assistant Robert Suzette, said the competition was a chance for all swimmers to prove themselves including those who are being scouted for the IOIG as there have been no competitions since last November.
He said the Grand Prix, which was the first competition for the year, was the opportunity for the swimming clubs to show the progress of their athletes.
He added that the competition also served as a selection platform for the forthcoming Cana championships in Angola.
“We have not had any competition since last November, therefore, this is a chance for all the competitors to have a shot for a spot,” said coach Albert who noted that all the swimmers are presently training with their respective clubs as they are familiar with their club coaches, and that it is only after the final selection is made that they will train together as a group.
Even if there were no prizes at the competition, it was still exciting for the kids who put on a good performance for their coaches and also their family members who were present in the stands.
Coach Albert said they are planning to host another competition in May after the Cana championships, which will be followed by the national championship in June.
Prior to the competition, five swimmers – Khema Elizabeth, Damien Payet, Nasri Jean-Baptiste, Nelius Cooperman and Amos Ferley – had already been chosen to take part in the Cana but Ferley had to drop out due to his busy exam schedule.
Without a budget, coach Albert and his team managed to host their first competition, and it was a success.
“Our budget has not yet been approved by the National Sports Council (NSC),” said coach Albert who however noted that they received some help from the council, especially with logistics, documentations and other services which they were grateful for.
He added that the Grand Prix will give an insight on who will be selected for the national team to be announced after June 4.
“We are putting together a team not to just hunt gold medals at the IOIG but for the future of the sport,” concluded coach Albert.