Beach soccer, archery, surfing, rugby – proposed for Indian Ocean Island Games 2023
Seychelles won 28 gold medals at the last Games in Mauritius in 2019. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Madagascar has proposed a total of 23 sporting disciplines, including nine new events, for the 11th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games that it will host in August 2023, the secretary general of the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (SOCGA) revealed on Tuesday.
Alain Alcindor made the statement to reporters during a briefing on a meeting he attended in Antananarivo last week.
"At the moment, no timeline has been set for when everything will be approved, as that will only be revealed when the general and technical regulations are finalised," said Alcindor.
Alcindor was one of three Seychellois delegates who attended the International Games Council (CIJ) meeting, where the details for the 2023 games were presented to CIJ's president Antonio Gopal, who is also from Seychelles.
The Indian Ocean Island Games is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from Indian Ocean island nations, namely Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Reunion and the Maldives.
Twenty-three sporting events are a higher number than seen in previous games. In the last competition in Mauritius in 2019, there were 14 sports disciplines the same as in Reunion in 2015. Madagascar will need at least three participating countries to support its proposal to the CIJ.
The newly proposed competitive sports are beach soccer, equestrian sports, wrestling, archery, surfing and rugby while fencing, teqball, motorsports and billiards have been proposed as non-competitive sports.
The sports officials were not provided an opportunity to tour the games' facilities during their visit, however, Gopal said that Madagascar informed the committee that it is renovating several facilities and will also construct an athletes' village for the games.
"This will be the third time Madagascar has hosted the game and they have assured us that the facilities will be up to standard for the games and we trust that they will deliver," said Gopal.
The games were originally scheduled to take place in Maldives for the very first time in 2023 but was later moved to Madagascar after Maldives withdrew for financial reasons. To date, only Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar have hosted the games.
In the last games in Mauritius in 2019, the host country topped the medals table with a total of 92 gold medals, while Seychelles ended the games with 28 gold medals.