• Jul 15, 2019
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The next Indian Ocean Island Games will be the 10th event and held July 19-28, 2019 Port Louis, Mauritius.The Indian Ocean Island Games IOIG is a multi-sport competition for the competitors from Islands of the Indian Ocean. The International Olympic Committee IOC received this competition in 1976. At first, it was named "Indian Ocean Games" But later was renamed "Indian Ocean Island Games" before its first version in 1979. The recreations were made to encourage fellowship and shared comprehension, to build up the skill of the competitors of the islands, and to make a soul of solidarity among all part islands through the local collaboration. 

The participating islands are Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Reunion and the Maldives - all are islands of Indian Ocean. In spite of the fact that Sri Lanka is a noteworthy island of Indian Ocean, it has never partaken in this competition. The primary version of the Island Games was held in 1979 in Reunion. The host nation pivots around the islands of Runion, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Seychelles, each taking a turn at regular intervals. There are no less than five games on each program, including the two basic occasions, swimming, and Athletics.

In fact, Mauritius hosted the two-day (18-19 February 2019) annual meeting of the International Council of the IOIG which concluded yesterday, with the drawing of lots for this year's IOIG collective sports disciplines, namely: football, volleyball, basketball, beach volleyball, and rugby sevens. A press conference to discuss the outcome of the third meeting was held following the draw ceremony. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Stephan Toussaint, and some 19 delegates of participating Island States were present. The International Council of the IOIG has examined the request for readmission of Sri Lanka, one of the founding members of the IOIG, within the CIJ. A delegation from Sri Lanka will be invited, at the next meeting, to present their request for readmission.

Moreover, the International Council took note of the work progress achieved by the various commissions of the organizing committee of the 10th IOIG. In addition, Comoros and Maldives have presented their candidature to host the 2023 edition of the IOIG which will be finalized by the International Council at its next meeting. A team from the CIJ will also affect a site visit on the two islands before designating the host country.

Training by Seychellois athletes for the next edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games in Mauritius next year is intensifying with a little more than a year remaining.   This year we are intensifying the preparation and all coaches have to submit their training programs for us to know which ones will be going on overseas training camps, said the director of sports development and management in the National Sports Council, Terence Barbe. 

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Since last year, some pre-selections started preparing for the competition, which is a multi-sports event held every four years among athletes from Indian Ocean islands. Barbe said that the major constraint was that not all national team athletes turned up for training because of the clubs commitment in local competitions.

Seychelles will be participating in 12 events: athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, football, judo, swimming, table Tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, and handisport.

Athletes who participate in high-level competitions receive financial assistance said the president of the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Antonio Gopal. Eight national athletes have already been selected for training scholarships including the newly crowned Best Sportsman and Sports Lady of the Year, sprinter Dylan Sicobo and high jumper Lissa Labiche. As part of the training, athletes will also be taking part in mainly two international competitions this year, the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast city on April 4-5, and the Commission for Youth and Sports of the Indian Ocean (CJSOI) competition in Djibouti April 20-29.

The 10th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games will take place in Mauritius in 2019 from July 19 to 28 and participating islands are the Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, Seychelles including Reunion, a French Department. The reunion had announced previously that it will not participate because of one of the rules in Article 7 in the games charter which it said was discriminatory. The rule stated that for all territories, it is sufficient to have the nationality of the country to participate, except in Reunion and Mayotte where you must be born or have license conditions to participate.

The amended rule made by the International Commission of the Games (CIJ) in December last year, states that competitors must have the nationality of the island and have been licensed to play in a sports discipline on the island for at least 12 months. At the last IOIG which took place in Reunion in 2015, Seychelles won 96 medals compared to 118 on home soil in 2011. The director of sports development and management in the National Sports Council, Terence Barbe is hoping that with early preparations Seychelles can do much better.

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