Seychellois athletes who won medals at the 10th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games in Mauritius received their monetary rewards on Wednesday.
The financial rewards for medal winners is a government incentive to encourage and motivate athletes at international competitions.
In her sending off address before the games, the Designated Minister who also holds the sports portfolio, had announced that for the Indian Ocean Island Games 2019, the government was offering SCR 40,000 ($2,937) for a gold medal, SCR 25,000 ($1,836) for a silver medal and SCR 12,000 ($876) for a bronze medal.
Seychelles won 111 medals, among which were 28 gold, 32 silver and 51 bronze.
Over SCR 2.5 million ($185,600) was distributed among the athletes who brought home medals in a ceremony at the International Conference Centre in the capital Victoria.
Swimmer Felicity Passon pocketed the highest amount — SCR 367,000 ($26,900) — for her seven gold medals, three silver and one bronze.
“I feel really happy. I feel honoured and I’m really excited by everything that’s happening. I just want to thank everyone for all the support. I really couldn’t have done it without them,” Passon told reporters after the ceremony.
Top financial rewards also went to Steven Baccus, Clementina Agricole and Romantha Larue who all won three gold medals in weightlifting.
The weightlifters brought home 9 gold medals. (Jude Morel) Photo License: CC-BY
Baccus has had a 100 percent success in six consecutive Indian Ocean Games, winning 18 gold medals in total.
Asked how he felt after receiving the financial rewards, Baccus said, “I see it as a good thing that the government has done because after working hard you need to be rewarded. Like in everything that you do where you make many sacrifices there comes the day that you have to be rewarded.”
In her address at the ceremony, Minister Mondon congratulated all athletes whom she said made maximum efforts to win medals, especially gold.
“Believe and succeed was the motto of team Seychelles for the competition. Seychellois athletes went with positive thinking to believe that yes, they can succeed in bringing medals and that is exactly what many of them did in Mauritius from the 19 to 28 July,” she said.
She added that: “Today I am honouring the commitment I made to you on behalf of the government to reward those who performed better according to the medals you won.”
The chief executive of the National Sports Council, Jean Larue, also congratulated the athletes not only for their performances but the exemplary behaviours they had at the Games.
Volleyball was the only team sport to win gold for the third consecutive games. (Jude Morel) Photo License: CC-BY
“Today I am happy because 60 percent of what we achieved was from the young athletes. They went and they showed us that they are able to do perform. Of course, they had the more experienced next to them who helped them grow during the 10 days,” said Larue.
He added that the athletes had said they were going to bring medals and they did and “the work they have done for a long time brought success and for that, they and their parents should be proud.”
Athletes who won gold also received a voucher to the value of SCR 10,000 ($730) from the All Weather Builders company.
The biggest sponsor of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, for Games, was the Mauritius Commercial Bank.
The next competition for Team Seychelles is the All Africa Games which will start August 19 in Morocco.
Source: Seychelles News Agency