News on Sunday

Celebrating the Games : Mauritian euphoria at its peak

It is the biggest sports event of the year and thousands of Mauritians would not want to miss the thrill of the Indian Ocean Island Games for anything. Enthusiasm has been reigning supreme among the young as well as the old, who are impatiently waiting for the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG 2019). News on Sunday has gauged the feelings of several personalities and especially about how they plan to enjoy the Games. 

Priscila CheryPriscilla Chery : “A national event which helps to unify all” 

The former athlete and gold medal winner shares that she will live through the IOIG 2019 with her whole heart. “My heart will beat for our nation and our athletes. I wish that our Mauritian athletes will win many gold medals. We have to acknowledge the sacrifices they have made. It is a personal investment and I know how it requires courage and perseverance,” she says. Priscilla Chery utters that she will follow the Games closely but most particularly, those of four disciplines. “I will surely not miss the football, volleyball, judo and boxing matches. Of course, I will also keep up with how things are going in the other sports disciplines.”

Priscilla trusts that the IOIG is a national event which helps to unify all citizens. “We all know that sports are a unifying element in a society. Through sports and through the IOIG, we forget our differences and grievances. Irrespective of our cultural or ethnic backgrounds, we all feel that we are one nation. We can see and feel that the passion for the IOIG 2019 not only in Mauritius but also among the Mauritian community living abroad.” The gold medal winner adds that it is high time to change mindsets when it comes to practicing sports. “Sports is for everyone, irrespective of gender, age and others. We must break barriers. Sports and education, for example, work together very well. We must encourage our youth to do sports. Parents should also change their views regarding sports, as it more beneficial than harmful.”

Alain JeannotAlain Jeannot : “I will not to miss the Games even away from home”

The president of the NGO Prevention Routiere Avant Tout (PRAT) shares that he plans to follow the Games closely even when he will be abroad. “I am planning to follow as many competitions as possible. I also plan not to miss any of the Games even when I will be away from home especially my favorite disciplines - athletics and football.” Alain Jeannot utters that the IOIG 2019 is an exceptional opportunity “to strengthen ties with fellow citizens and an excellent tool for nation building. It will focus people’s attention on sports, an activity which contributes to healthy living and to fight drug addiction, amongst other benefits. It clearly will encourage the youth in sports as the Mauritian winners, whom we wish will be numerous, will be acclaimed as heroes and everyone dreams to be a hero.”

Alain Jeannot adds that the IOIG will definitely promote patriotism. “Organising events like the IOIG is important because it encourages us to refer to our Mauritian identity and not our ancestral backgrounds.” He trusts that it also essential for the authorities to create more opportunities for professional Mauritian sportsmen and women to make a living out of their passion. 

Dilesh SharmaDilesh Sharma : “I feel lucky to live the 10th IOIG experience”

Photographer at Focus Events Ltd, Dilesh Sharma shares that he feels proud to be a Mauritian, especially during this special event taking place in Mauritius. “The fever of the Games is already here, namely with ‘Le parcours de la flamme’ and I feel so lucky to live this experience for the second time in our country. I was a teenager when I experienced the IOIG in 2003. For this current Games, my colleagues and I will be doing some special shopping, such as buying various items, like the T-shirts with the logo of the 10th IOIG.” Dilesh states that he has very high expectations for Mauritian athletes, most specifically with those competing in the Badminton, Weight Lifting and Swimming categories. 

“Our athletes in these disciplines have done extremely well for the few past international competitions. For this 10th edition, I am expecting that they give the best of themselves. I will be very proud to see a Mauritian swimmer standing first on the podium of our new sport complex at Cote D’Or.

Reunion Island has 179 gold medals. I know it will be very difficult for Mauritius to beat them, but at least come close enough so that for the 11th IOIG, we rank among the top best gold medal holder countries.” How will Dilesh follow the Games?” At the office, we are a group of four friends who are very passionate about Badminton. We are planning to attend at least two matches. Else, I will follow the Games on a daily basis through the media.”

Shirin GunnyShirin Gunny : “An occasion to celebrate the Mauritian pride” 

The Chief Operations Officer of Made in Moris trusts that the Games are an extension of the company’s belief and motto. “We value everything which promotes patriotism and through the IOIG, those values are being reinforced, consolidated and promoted not only in Mauritius but also among all the participating islands. It is an incredible opportunity for Mauritius to showcase it’s abilities. We expect the Mauritian flag to fly high and that our athletes will be rewarded not only as winners but also for participating because they have taken a serious engagement to give their very best for their country.”

Shirin Gunny adds that the Games will also be the occasion to celebrate the pride of the Made in Moris label because it is all about encouraging and promoting local talents. She confides that she plans to follow the football matches closely. “Football is at the top of the agenda for most Mauritians. We will be able to cheer our Mauritian football team. It promises to be a unique event. This, however, goes for all the other disciplines as well.” 1,800 employees of Made in Moris will be present in the stadiums during the grand opening this Friday. “It is important for us to show our support to our athletes and the organising committee. We will also participate in the opening show.”

RiteshRitesh Goraya : “We will not miss the football matches for anything”

The Creative Director at LAB27 DESIGNER states that we can all feel the roar of joy and excitement across the island. “It’s a proud moment for the country. We checked the schedules, most importantly the availability of tickets and then we planned accordingly to attend a few selected Games in the stadium with family. We will not miss the football matches for anything, as nothing will make us happier than watching the Club M raising the Mauritian flag high. The other competitions are, however, equally important as far as we see our country bringing the gold medal: It will be a glorious moment to cheer for our island and encourage all the athletes for the sacrifices they’ve made.”

Ritesh Goraya trusts that the IOIG is a moment of bonding where different islands join hands. “I think it’s a beautiful reconnection for the Indian Ocean countries. We are all supporting Mauritius but it’s also time to show our warm hospitality to the foreign athletes. The preparation, ambiance and celebration will definitely have an impact on Mauritian youth. Watching our athletes succeed and grab medals will surely inspire the youth to get more involved in sports.”

Eric MilazarEric Milazar : “I will be able to follow the matches thanks to technology”

National record holder in the 400m, the 300m, the 200m indoor and the 400m indoor, Eric Milazar, who is helping in the preparation of the athletes, confides that the organisation of the Games is more than satisfying. “The support from the authorities and organising committee is excellent. Athletes are comfortably settled in hotels. Having a good rest and being comfortable are key factors for one’s wellbeing.”

Despite a very busy schedule, he will be present on the field for the athletics competitions, but he will keep up to date with the different matches. “I will be with the athletes but thanks to technology, I will be able to follow the various sports disciplines.” The former athlete states that the Games have revived the national patriotism flame in the hearts of all Mauritians. “I have seen, with the IOIG torch passing through different villages towns, and the capital how Mauritians are supporting their country. Mauritius is a peaceful and a beautiful country to live in. I hope that this spirit will continue even after the Games.”

NishtaNishta Jooty : “Impossible to escape from the excitement of the IOIG”

Nishta Jooty states that it is impossible for anyone to escape from the excitement of the IOIG. “The enthusiasm is everywhere: In the news, advertisements, on social media, in the streets. I saw the IOIG torch a few days ago and I could feel the passion and pride of those holding it. The IOIG brings Mauritians of all backgrounds together where we stand as one people cheering for our country. It is also an opportunity to bond with our neighbors from the Indian Ocean.”

The former President of the Rotary Club of Vacoas and currently a Lecturer claims that she is also participating in the enthusiasm surrounding the Games through her 7-year-old niece named Nidhi. “She has bought special accessories like an IOIG badge, a bandana and a vuvuzela as well. Ever since she has met with the national mascot Krouink, she is super excited. I would have loved to attend one of the Games in her company but unfortunately, all tickets are sold out. So we will watch the Games on TV with the family.” Nishta wishes all athletes good luck and hopes that Mauritius gets many gold medals. “I also hope that after the Games, the athletes will not be left into the unknown and that they will be given due respect as well as other possibilities to excel in their respective fields,” she adds.  

Abhishek MangarAbhishek Mangar : “I will cheer for our athletes wherever I am”

Abhishek Mangar states that the Island Games celebrate a true moment of pure happiness. “All citizens gather together to support their country and athletes. As a patriot, I sincerely wish the best for our athletes. I expect our flag to fly high and wish that Mauritius emerges as the winner, but we will be facing very tough competition from both Madagascar and Reunion. Given Madagascar’s good run in the recent CAN of football, they will be the team to beat and it will be very difficult for our current football squad to challenge them.”
The accountant utters that he is “however confident that Mauritius is going to bring the maximum gold medals in the disciplines like boxing, badminton, table tennis, judo and athletics.” Abhishek shares that he will not miss to cheer for Mauritius whether at home or in the stadiums. “When I will be in the stadiums to attend some of the competitions, I will definitely cheer for our athletes and also at home with friends and family members. I seize the occasion to wish all our athletes the very best and want them to know they have our full support. Allez Maurice!!! ”


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