FINA championships: Seychelles to welcome world’s best young swimmers on Sep. 16-18
Seychelles will host for the first time the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships on September 16-18 at the Beau Vallon beach in the north of Mahe, the main island, said a top official on Tuesday.
This was revealed by the principal secretary for sports, Ralph Jean-Louis, in a press conference.
The competition will include 5km and 7.5km races on September 16 followed by the 10km race on September 17, while the team relays will take place on the final day of the competition.
Jean-Louis said that the government agreed to host this tournament as it can provide inspiration to the youth.
“This gives the youth the possibility to participate in a global event on home soil, where they will be able to match themselves up against the best and hopefully motivate them to take the sport more seriously and get better,” he said.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, was chosen to host the championships in February.
“One of the things we had to handle quickly was accommodation and we are working with three hotels around the Beau Vallon area. These are Savoy Resort and Spa, Coral Strand Hotel and Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay to cater for the over 300 swimmers expected to be part of the event,” said Alain Alcindor, the director for competitive sports of the National Sports Council (NSC).
Seychelles is expected to participate in the event team with around 20 swimmers.
Present at the press conference was the principal secretary for tourism, Sherin Francis, who explained that the event is expected to have a huge impact on the local tourism industry.
“We will be using the event to give the maximum visibility to Seychelles, where we are working to be able to give the content to our partners, especially through various media, as the maximum exposure that this can give us, the better,” said Francis.
Meanwhile, the organising committee is calling on anyone interested to join the team of volunteers for the competition, to approach them, as a lot of help will be needed to ensure that Seychelles can be successful hosts of the event.
Seychelles has already hosted FINA (International Swimming Federation) competitions and those were the FINA Marathon Swim World Series in 2018 and 2019.
This year’s event will be the fifth edition of the junior championships. The inaugural World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships took place in Welland, Canada in 2012. Subsequent event editions took place in Balatonfured, Hungary in 2014, Hoorn, the Netherlands in 2016 and Eilat, Israel in 2018.
The tournament is held every two years and was originally scheduled to take place in Seychelles in 2020, but was postponed due to the global COVID pandemic.