GIS - 27 December, 2017: The introduction of the State Recognition Retirement Scheme for which a budget of Rs 5 million was earmarked, is a major milestone for the sports sector.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, said at a press conference during which he outlined the achievements of his Ministry for the year 2017, on 20 December. Other major initiatives and measures that have been implemented this year to revamp the sector include an increase of Rs 3 000 in the monthly allowance to high level athletes as well as an increase of Rs 3 500 for sparring partners and guide.
As regards the youth empowerment and development agenda, the Minister recalled that some 100 youth activities at regional, national and international levels, targeting some 60 000 youths, were organised. These include: the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Volunteer Mauritius, Entreprenariat Jeunesse, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Life Skills programmes and weekly activities organised by youth centres.
Mr Toussaint outlined that Government’s aim is to provide opportunities and facilities for youths to be trained to become entrepreneurs. To this end, an Entreprenariat Jeunesse programme has been set up under which a cohort of 200 young entrepreneurs have benefitted from various courses and mentoring programmes. Furthermore, ten entrepreneurs received a Prix Bourse ranging between Rs 70 000 and Rs 120 000 in the context of CONFEJES programme.
The Minister pointed out that the recent rebranding exercise of the Ministry with a new visual identity that comprises relooking of all infrastructures and vehicles, as well as youth centres, attests to its philosophy of being innovative and modernising its services in the context of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) 2019 that will be hosted by Mauritius.
On that note, Mr Toussaint underscored the ongoing preparations for IOIG 2019 which include monitoring the preparation of athletes for which a budget of Rs 18 million has been allocated, extending coaching assistance in Table Tennis, Boxing, Weightlifting, Badminton, Cycling, Rugby and Volleyball and coordinating actions with major stakeholders.
He also listed out the numerous major competitions wherein local sportspersons clinched medals for their commendable participation. For the first time, Mauritius grabbed a silver medal at the COSAFA U17; two medals (1 Gold, 1 Bronze) in the WAKO World Kickboxing Championships; four medals (1 Silver, 3 Bronze) in the Francophonie Games; two gold medals for the Tour de La Reunion and five medals (2 Gold, 3 Bronze) for the WAKO World Cup.
Major projects in the pipeline for 2018, include the setting up of a Youth Training academy at Pointe Jerome, the elaboration of a National Sports Policy, the setting up of a Hall of Fame and the construction of the Cote d’Or Multisport Complex.
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