The National School Athletics Championships is not expected to be affected since this competition takes place at Stad Linite in June. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Plans to resurface the athletics track at Seychelles’ main stadium, Stad Linite, are already in place, said a top sports official on Friday.
The chief executive of the National Sports Council, Marc Arissol, made the statement to SNA amid concerns on the state of the track expressed by the Seychelles Athletics Federation (SAF) recently.
In an advisory to the local media last Thursday, the chairperson of the federation, Selby Dora, said, “Having considered the status of the track and field facilities at both stadia, the SAF executive committee has decided that it is not in the best interest of the health and safety of registered athletes to compete on the track and certain facilities.”
Arrisol said that for “Stad Popiler, there are no plans yet for any works to be done.”
Seychelles has two main stadiums used for athletics events – Stad Popiler located in Victoria and Stad Linite at Roche Caiman. In recent years, the conditions of the tracks at both stadiums have deteriorated to the extent that the SAF feels it is no longer safe to use.
While work will be done at Stad Linite, Stad Popiler is the only facility left for track events to be held, especially for the upcoming 11th edition of the Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) in Madagascar from August 23 to September 3.
“With the IOIG coming up, the conditions of the track pose some danger to the athletes who are preparing for the games,” said Dora.
At the last IOIG in Mauritius in 2019, Seychelles finished 4th with 111 medals, which included 28 gold medals.
Dora has, however, stated that this does not mean that the SAF will not proceed with any of the planned competitions, as only track events have been affected by this issue, with field events still planned to go ahead.
He also explained that this decision will affect only SAF activities and not the school competitions, as they are not organised by the federation itself.
Dora said the executive committee of the federation will review its position in consultation with the relevant national authorities taking into consideration the improvement status of the facilities in question.
The National Sports Council said the National School Athletics Championships is not expected to be affected since this competition takes place at Stad Linite in June. Works will begin as soon as the tartan is brought to the country for re-laying.
Stad Linite, Seychelles’ largest stadium, which can hold 12,000 people, was constructed in 1992 as the country prepared to host the 1993 Indian Ocean Island Games.
The first significant renovation was completed in 2007 when FIFA’s “win in Africa with Africa” development initiative installed a third-generation artificial turf surface at the stadium in February of that year.
In February 2022, the stadium, which also hosts football matches, was deemed unsuitable for hosting official FIFA and CAF matches due to its condition.
Stad Popiler, on the other hand, was opened in 1970 and hosted the Seychelles national football team, until the opening on Stad Linite.
It is also the stadium that hosts most of the events organised by the SAF.