The Mauritian Judo, a very impressive discipline, has encountered much difficulties in the past. At present, it is taking another dimension, with the integration of the Judo athlete, Mr Winsley Gangaya, in the Pôle Espoir de Rouen in France.
This announcement was made by the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, Mr Stephan Toussaint, at a press conference, this morning, held at the seat of his Ministry, in Citadelle Mall, in Port Louis. The Chairperson of Horizon Paris 2024, Mr Dominique Filleul, the Chairperson of the Mauritius Judo Federation, Mr Josian Valère, and other high officials in the sports field were present.
The Minister recalled that Horizon Paris 2024 is a preparation programme put in place by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, in collaboration with the Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports (TFES). The aim, he said, is to identify potential athletes for their participation in the 2024 Olympic Games scheduled from 26 July to 11 August in Paris, France.
In addition, Mr Toussaint highlighted that the programme is assisting the Ministry in many ways including preparing the athletes for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and the results are being observed through the progress of athletes who are benefitting from the support of Horizon Paris 2024. This project, he added, will not only be helpful for the Paris Olympics Games but also for the other sports competition in the future such as the Indian Ocean Island Games and the Commonwealth Games, among others.
For his part, Mr Filleul underscored that the team of Horizon Paris 2024 was working on this initiative since a few months, adding that immense progress has been made with the acceptance of Mr Gangaya at the Pôle Espoir de Rouen.
On this score, he informed that the athlete will be residing there for a period of one year, on a full board basis, and will benefit from regular medical follow ups and treatments amounting to a sum of EUR 6,000 per year. The athlete will also receive a monthly allocation of Rs 20,000 for his additional expenses on behalf of the Horizon Paris 2024, Mr Filleul added.
Moreover, he lauded the contribution of the sponsors, the TFES, and the ex-National Technical Director of the Mauritius Judo Federation, who have contributed towards the possibility of integrating the young athletes into this high-performance structure.
As for Mr Valère, he underlined that the role of the Federation is not only to expect athletes to win medals and achieve results but also provide the necessary guidance and support for athletes to succeed in a good environment. In this context, he reiterated the commitment of the Federation along with other concerned stakeholders to find ways to support athletes physically as well as psychologically just like they have done for the Indian Ocean Islands Games 2019, which have proven to be positive.
As regards the Horizon Paris 2024 programme, Mr Valère highlighted that there are two Judo athletes who were nominated for this programme and after much consideration and research, the Pôle Espoir de Rouen was chosen as the most appropriate for their coaching as it provides them not only with a training in sports but also prepares them for a profession alongside Judo. On this score, he pointed out that this integration is a door that has been opened for other athletes in order to give them the maximum of support and facilities so that they become the champions of tomorrow.
About Horizon Paris 2024
The project aims at providing appropriate support, notably to the tune of Rs 1 million per athlete per year, in terms of transport, accommodation and other preparatory needs to potential athletes and will be funded by sponsors.
The Horizon Paris 2024, piloted by a Committee set up under the aegis of the TFES, is chaired by Mr Dominique Filleul, a French retired professional handballer, and comprises about 12 representatives from several fields, namely management, marketing and finance as well as representatives of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation and different National Sport Federations.