GIS – 1st April 2019: Mauritius will be hosting a key regional event, the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) 2019, which will require the population to rally and support local athletes, in the same spirit of unity, fraternity and solidarity as demonstrated in their participation during National Relay 2019.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth made this statement at a 12-hour National Relay, Run for Fun and Health, that kicked off at 06 00 am on Saturday 30 March 2019 at the Maryse Justin Stadium, in Réduit.
The IOIG is a multi-sports event held every four years among athletes from Indian Ocean islands, with the objectives of contributing to regional cooperation through the development of sport in the region, build friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the islands of the Indian Ocean, in the spirit of the Olympics. Mauritius will be hosting the 10th edition which is scheduled from 19 to 28 July 2019. Some 2000 athletes of seven islands of the region will participate in 14 disciplines.
The National Relay consisted of physical activities such as walking, jogging and running. Some 30 teams comprising Officers of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service, and Municipal Councils, amongst others, participated in the event. Various personalities were also present.
The event, in its second edition, saw the participation of Prime Minister Jugnauth, who completed 26 laps in one hour and nine minutes and covered 10.4 km.
The Prime Minister underlined that the National Relay Programme, which is in line with Government’s objective of fostering a sports culture among the population, essentially seeks to sensitise the public to include sports into their daily life. He underscored the benefits of practising sports for maintaining a good health and decreasing the risks of developing illnesses as well as the positive economic impacts of the longevity of healthy citizens.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction as regards the success of the event that gathered, this year, some 3,700 participants, the youngest aged 3 years old and the eldest 83. According to him, the practise of sports should not revolve around the spirit of competition only, but instead, the feeling of self-satisfaction from participating. On that note, he urged everyone to practise a physical activity as per their abilities and physical strength.
Moreover, Prime Minister Jugnauth reiterated Government’s intent to provide opportunities to those who possess the skills and talent to undertake sporting activities and help them hone their capabilities to become proficient sportspersons to eventually participate in competitions.
Speaking about the forthcoming IOIG 2019, Mr Jugnauth recalled that it essentially celebrates the values of sports and will be a platform where participating countries of the region will build and strengthen relations of friendship and brotherhood.
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