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13th African Games in Accra, Ghana |17 January 2024

13th African Games in Accra, Ghana

The Seychelles women’s volleyball team after their fourth consecutive triumph at the 11th IOIG in 2023 in Madagascar (Photo: Patrick Joubert)

Women’s volleyball team qualify for ‘Accra 2023’


Seychelles’ women’s volleyball team will compete at the 13th African Games from March 8-23, 2024 in Accra, Ghana, while the country’s men’s and women’s beach volleyball sides will have to earn their tickets by taking part in the qualifiers.

Speaking to Sports NATION, Seychelles Volleyball Federation (SVF) secretary general Christine Joubert said the Seychelles’ women’s volleyball team have qualified automatically to take part in the 13th African Games after no other teams showed an interest to compete.

“Had any of the other Africa zone 7 countries – Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, and the Comoros – registered to take part in the 13th African Games after the Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) had sent out the registration forms, a qualifying competition would have had to be organised. But this was not the case as only Seychelles registered to take part. I imagine the other countries did not want to play another qualifying competition after Seychelles had just triumphed at the 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) in Madagascar last year,” said Ms Joubert.

In the IOIG final last year, Seychelles edged hosts Madagascar on a 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-11) score at the Palais des Sports of Mahamasina in Antananarivo for a fourth consecutive gold medal win after past triumphs in 2011 in Seychelles, 2015 in Reunion and 2019 in Mauritius.

The Seychelles team have played in the last seven finals of the IOIG. They started their quest in 1998 in St Denis, Reunion during the fifth Games where they won their first title, beating the hosts 3-2, before successfully defending their title at the sixth Games in 2003 in Mauritius, defeating Madagascar 3-0 in the final.

At the seventh Games in 2007 in Madagascar, Seychelles lost 2-3 in the final against Reunion, halting their march towards achieving a hat-trick of wins.

In 2011 on home soil during the eighth Games, Seychelles re-launched their campaign, going back to winning gold medal by avenging the 2007 defeat to Reunion with a 3-0 victory in the final in front of the home crowd.

At the ninth Games in Reunion in 2015, they defended their title, beating their Malagasy opponents making it two wins in a row, before successfully defending the title again to finally complete a hat-trick of wins at the 10th Games in Mauritius in 2019, after defeating Madagascar 3-2 in the final to enter the IOIG history books as the first ever country to achieve such a feat. And they rewrote the history books again in 2023.

Coached by Julien Onezime, the team are only missing experienced attacker-turned-setter Maya Biong, while soldier and setter Melina Crispin is on overseas military training but is expected to join the squad at the games provided she is following volleyball training sessions.

As for young setter Camilla Francourt, she has been drafted to train with the team.

Meanwhile, Ms Joubert has also said she has registered both the country’s men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams for the Games, but since other nations have also shown an interest, a qualifying competition will take place in the Comoros next week.

Seychelles will take part in five other sporting events – athletics, swimming, weightlifting, judo and boxing – at the 13th African Games.

Ghana won the bid to host the 13th African Games back in 2017, ahead of Nigeria and Burkina Faso, who also showed interest.

Subsequently, in 2021 Ghana signed an agreement with the African Union to host the event with the dates originally scheduled for August 4–19, 2023. The Games had to be postponed to 2024 following a disagreement between the competition’s major stakeholders.

Ghana’s efforts to host the Games had been hampered due to an impasse over marketing rights involving the African Union (AU), Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (Anoca) and the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC) who are the competition’s major stakeholders.

The impasse was resolved on February 19, 2023 in Addis Abba, Ethiopia and was facilitated by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo. However, aside these issues Ghana had been struggling to complete the facilities required to host the games. The main arena for the games which is situated at Borteyman was well behind schedule. The construction of the University of Ghana stadium faced a similar situation.

Despite it taking place in 2024, the 13th African Games will still be called ‘Accra 2023’ as planned initially, said chairman of the local organising committee (LOC), Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, in February this year.

According to reports, in December 2022, Ghanaian-based construction company Consar was told by parliament to complete the facilities planned for the Games. This included finishing the modernisation of the University of Ghana Stadium, which was the centerpiece of the Games and originally due to be handed over by the end of 2022. The venue, also known as the Legon Stadium, was completed in February, as hoped.

Plans to build a new stadium for the event were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Funds were also released to complete the construction of the Borteyman Sports Complex, which was expected to host up to 11 sports during the African Games. Among the sports the complex was set to stage were aquatics, football, judo, taekwondo, weightlifting and tennis.

New disciplines in the competition are expected to include arms wrestling and rugby.

Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast are expected to be the three cities to host the competition.

The multisport extravaganza will include 23 competitive events in athletics, badminton, cycling, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon and weightlifting which will serve as Olympic qualifiers. The remaining events which are non-Olympic qualifying events include arm wrestling, beach volley, basketball 3×3, boxing, chess, cricket, football, handball, hockey, judo, karate-do, rugby, taekwondo, volleyball and weightlifting.


Gerard Govinden

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