The President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan who is also the Patron of the Seychelles Football Federation attended the official launching of the Institute of Football Seychelles (IFS), held yesterday afternoon at Savoy Seychelles Resorts and Spa, Beau Vallon. As a symbolic gesture, the President was given the honor alongside the President of Seychelles Football Federation (SFF), Mr. Elvis Chetty to sign a ball to launch the Institute.
The objective of founding such an Institute is to train, prepare and create future players, and coaches in football careers. The institute will enroll the best young players of Seychelles Football whereby in each age group, the top players will be selected to attend the institute. The same will be carried out through trials and a selection process, which will be based on three basic criteria: technique, physics, and game.
During the ceremony, the invitees were presented to the first cohort of students who have been accepted at this Institute. The event was also highlighted by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the Chief Executive Officer for the Seychelles Football Federation, Mr. Georges Bibi, and Principal Secretary for Education, Ms. Merna Eulentin. There were also remarks by the Minister of Education, Dr. Justin Valentin, the Minister for Youth, Sports and Family, Mrs. Marie-Céline Zialor, and the President of Seychelles Football Federation (SFF), Mr. Elvis Chetty. The official launching also featured corporate videos of IFS presented by the National Technical Director for the Seychelles Football Federation, Mr. Osama Haroun, and presentations of t-shirts to students and Ministers.
In his closing remarks, President Ramkalawan congratulated the students and wished them all the best as they take on this new challenge. As he extended his support, the President emphasized the importance for them to make this Institute a success. He advised them to be disciplined, learn the strategies that will make them successful in life, and listen to their coaches and parents.
“Today makes a new chapter in the Seychelles football; one that is very popular among all Seychellois. Many players before you have tried to bring this sport to new heights and have made their mark. Now it is your time to set new targets and records. Seize this opportunity bestowed on you and make the most of it. Many people will be observing you, there will be those that will guide you on the right path. You will have the full support of your coaches but I want you to also do well in your studies. These two should be given equal attention,” said the President. President Ramkalawan also commended the Seychelles Football Federation for the exemplary role they are making and in taking this sport to the next level. He further encouraged other disciplines in sports to follow in their footsteps so that young people with talents can be groomed at an earlier age.
Selection for the best players will be carried out in turns on three main islands: Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue. The second stage will take place on Mahé with 33 players selected from the three islands to constitute a smaller group of players who will join the IFS. Once selected, IFS will be responsible to train them for three years, Monday to Friday, so that they become future Seychellois professional football players as well as pave the way for various football professions. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, it will allow each player to have a structured program where the players will have access to an academic curriculum and classroom to continue their education.
Two places will also be reserved for players who have not been selected to join the IFS, but they will have to provide their academic reports for admission. Furthermore, as non-scholarship students, their studies will have to be financed by their scholarship holders. Also present at the event was the Principal Secretary for the Youth and Sports Department, Mr. Ralph Jean-Louis, Chief Executive Officer for the National Sports Council, Mr. Jean Larue, parents of the selected athletes, and other distinguished guests.
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