The Universiade Games 2018, aiming at fostering a sports culture among students of the tertiary level, kicked off this morning at the University of Mauritius in Réduit. The Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, as well as the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, were present on the occasion.

Thirteen tertiary institutions are participating in the Games that will span from 24 to 28 September 2018. The sports disciplines include: Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Table Tennis, Badminton and cross-country.

In her address at the opening ceremony, the Education Minister highlighted that Government envisages to fostering a sports culture in the country in order to uplift the quality of life and health of the population. She underpinned the numerous benefits of sports which encompasses health, physical activity and mental well-being of individuals.

The Minister pointed out that education provides not only for academic development but also involves learning how to live and enjoy a well-balanced life. In order to face the challenges of the fast-changing world, it is essential to possess soft skills such as team spirit, creative mind and collaborative skill which can be acquired through competitive games and which require discipline, respect and sportsmanship, she stated.

Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun reiterated that the wellbeing and the future of the youths are at the core of Government’s agenda, adding that it is being catered for in the education sector wherein academic institutions abide by a comprehensive approach to equip them with the right set of skills and values to undertake life as an adult. The Universiade Games 2018 forms part of the key Governmental endeavours geared towards offering avenues for youths to partake in activities that develop the necessary aptitudes and pioneering spirit to succeed in life, she said.

As for the Sports Minister, he indicated that the Universiade Games 2018 is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research and his Ministry to ensure that students at all academic levels participate in recreational and extracurricular activities and are exposed to the sports culture. He emphasised that the youths of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, hence necessary efforts are being made to equip them with the set of skills and aptitudes to assume that responsibility.

According to Minister Toussaint, the event is a platform where all participants will come out as winners as they will all gain substantial experience from it and where they will be given the opportunity to showcase, learn and acquire new skills and to make friends from other disciplines and institutions. He invited the students to participate with similar enthusiasm and to support the local teams during the Indian Ocean Island Games 2019 which will be hosted by Mauritius.

Source: Government of Mauritius