Mauritius: The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, Mr Jean Christophe Stephan Toussaint, held a press conference this afternoon at the Côte d’Or National Sports Complex to give an overview of the achievements of his Ministry for the year 2022.
Minister Toussaint highlighted that as far as the Youth Department is concerned, the Ministry had to rethink its way of operating so as to better empower the youth.
He observed that a survey was carried out with the collaboration of the National Youth Council so as to revamp and transform Youth Centres across the island into Youth Hubs. The Youth Hubs of Mahebourg and Helvetia will be ready and operational early next year; he pointed out.
The Minister underlined that a Counselling Unit has also been set up at the Ministry so as to provide better support and psychology services to the youth in need. According to him, the National Youth Civic Service launched some years back, as well as an outreach program to support and guide youth facing difficulties, are also ongoing.
He also reminded that several sensitisation campaigns against drug scourge and domestic violence had been carried out by his Ministry in collaboration with, among others, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare.
Furthermore, Minister Toussaint observed that the Mauritius Recreation Council was recently launched by his Ministry, and for which a series of activities were organised at the outdoor centre in Pointe Jerome for persons with disabilities. One of the responsibilities of the Council, he stated, is to democratise access to leisure and encourage citizens to practice physical activity. A cappella singing competition also launched and saw the participation of ten groups, including one from Rodrigues.
Speaking about sports, the Minister expressed satisfaction with regard to the achievements of the Sports Department for the Year 2022. He underscored that major competitions were held in Mauritius, while several athletes participated and excelled in international competitions such as, among others, the IWAS World Games 2022 for physically handicapped persons in Portugal and the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Moreover, he reassured that the Ministry would continue to support elite athletes both financially and in their physical training through the High-Performance Centre at the Côte d’Or National Sports Complex. He also dwelt on Projet Paris 2024; the State Recognition Allowance; the Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports; free swimming classes at Blue Bay, Belle Mare, Mont Choisy and Flic-en-Flac; and investment in several Training Centres for various disciplines such as athletics, football, basketball, judo and badminton, among others.
Before concluding, the Sports Minister reminded that the Jeux de la Francophonie, the African Games and the Indian Ocean Island Games would be held next year and see the participation of Mauritian athletes. He also seized this opportunity to encourage the public at large to come in numbers to the CJSOI Games, for which access is free of charge, so as to encourage the youth.