GIS - 01 October, 2014: The Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and the Final of a Table Tennis Tournament for women, the first to be organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, kicked off this morning at the Table Tennis Centre, Beau Bassin Sports Complex.
The aim of this new initiative is to encourage more women to perform sports activities as well as increase the number of competitive events for them. The Table Tennis Tournament is part of the endeavours of the Ministry to come forward with innovative sports disciplines which are not only internationally recognised but are also easy introduced and organised for womenfolk. Thus, this year, three innovative disciplines namely Women Football, Badminton and Table Tennis have been introduced. A National Female Football Tournament and a Badminton Competition were held successfully in June and in September respectively.
The Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare had solicited technical support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Mauritius Table Tennis Association to run the Table Tennis Tournament. Preliminaries were held in September with the participation of 42 women. The event followed initiations on Table Tennis organised in June/July by Rose Hill Women Centre, the Lady Sushil Ramgoolam Women Centre of Bambous and Richelieu Women Centre.
It is to be recalled that the Gender Unit of the Ministry has, over the last two decades, organised sports activities with a view to promote the physical well-being of women. In March 2007, the Gender Unit officially launched the Women Sports Associations (WSAs) in each of its 15 Women Centres to sensitise women on the importance of practicing sports and physical activities in order to promote a healthy lifestyle as well as to create a culture of sports among women.
The WSAs have been very active with the organisation of several activities ranging from aerobics, yoga, taichi, swimming, volleyball, badminton, walking, jogging, petanque, aqua-gym, latino dance, step dance, amongst others. Other initiatives comprise awareness campaigns, workshops, talks at centre/regional and national levels stressing on the importance of practicing sports/physical activities and on the management of sports associations.
For 2015, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare intends to sustain Table Tennis discipline through continuous training as well as to introduce other disciplines such as Water Polo and Tai Kwon Do. Partnership will also be sought with key stakeholders namely the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Mauritius Football Association and the Commission Nationale du Sport Féminin, for access to the necessary infrastructures as well as the provision of required resource persons with relevant expertise for the various disciplines.
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