Sports sector revitalised through investments, says Minister Sawmynaden
There is no doubt that Mauritian sports is being revived once again, and, this would not have been possible without substantial investments in the sector, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, told the National Assembly on 3 August 2016 during debates on Budget 2016-2017.
According to the Minister, the budget presented is innovative and audacious and reiterates Government’s will to launch major projects so as to sustain economic development. Budget 2016-2017 comprises a series of measures aimed at restoring the confidence of Mauritians with priority attention given to the youth and the most deprived, he stressed.
The Minister’s speech focused on four key elements: the fight against poverty (with the provision of a monthly subsistence allowance between Rs 2 720 and Rs 9 520 to families on the Social Register of Mauritius); Access to decent housing (Rs 1 billion for the construction and completion of 1,900 units on 16 sites across the island); Education (provision of Rs 16.1 billion for the education sector) and, measures for the Youth and Sports sector.
With regard to the sports sector, Mr Sawmynaden expressed his satisfaction that Budget 2016-2017 makes provision for the upgrading of sports infrastructure in the context of the forthcoming 2019 Indian Ocean Island Games to be hosted by Mauritius. Measures announced which include the construction of a new multi sports complex at St Pierre is in line with Government’s policy to widen the access to sports facilities to all the population, he observed.
Speaking about local football which is improving steadily, the Minister said that the support of Government is essential for the survival of professional football. It is interesting to note that some 300 direct employment has been created, and, each weekend an average of 5 000 spectators attend the football fixtures in the five stadiums, he pointed out.
Referring to the High-Level Sports Unit, the Minister pointed out that the Unit has currently listed 105 athletes including those with disabilities. The performance of each athlete is being monitored and the list will be reviewed on a quarterly basis according to the performance of athletes.
On the topic of the professional development, the Minister said while the scheme announced in Budget 2016-2017 will effectively support athletes’ careers, the Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports will be reviewed and a new organigram will be designed so as to facilitate the employability of sportspersons.
For the youth sector, the Minister announced that the SMART Youth 2020, a working document for the revamping process of the sector, is being finalised. The objective is to promote the adoption of a new approach and to better equip the Youth Division to deal with the ever-changing youth population. The Minister also stressed the importance to review youth-related policies and actions despite ongoing training, sensitisation and leisure activities designed for the development of young people.