‘Aspire to Inspire’: Pro Athletes Encourage Young Seychelles Sportsmen to Aim for the Best
Michael Mancienne in the Nottingham Forest kit, 2016. (Wikipedia) Photo License: CC0
The qualities needed to become top athletes and the sacrifices that will have to be made were part of an experience sharing session led by two professional athletes with young aspiring Seychellois swimmers, cyclists, weightlifters and sailors.
The young athletes met on Thursday for talks with former Seychellois-British Chelsea FC star Michael Mancienne and US Olympic alpine skier Tommy Ford.
Mancienne, the son of former Seychellois footballer Mike Mancienne, is a graduate of Chelsea Football Clubfamous youth academy and played in the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga and the European Under-21 Championships, among others. He currently plays for British League One side Burton Albion.
Mancienne said that “hearing things from their point of view was really great because we could give them some advice and I also managed to learn a few things from them”.
|The young athletes met on Thursday for talks with former Seychellois-British Chelsea FC star Michael Mancienne and US Olympic alpine skier Tommy Ford. (Sedrick Nicette, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Ford, meanwhile, is an American Alpine Skiing World Cup racer, specializing in giant slalom and super-G. His best World Cup result to date is a first-place finish in a giant slalom event in December 2019. He has represented the United States at three Winter Olympics and four World Championships.
“Once the athletes got into the discussions it was great and just as they learned from us, we also learned from them,” said Ford, who recently competed in the 2022 Winter Olympics. , without winning a medal.
Conference attendee, swimmer Tyler Fred, said, “It was a great experience that needs to be repeated more often as it really inspired a lot of us.
Motivation, training, eating habits and other sport-related issues were those addressed by the young athletes. Both professionals have shown a keen interest in how local athletes juggle their time between work, school and training.
The discussion was part of the ‘Aspire to Inspire’ program and Rudy Joseph, National Sport Council (NSC) Chief Sports Officer said: “We want to show athletes that the journey to becoming a professional is not short and that a lot of hard work goes into it and they have to be patient to be successful.”
Joseph added that they hope to have more such discussions in the future and also want to expand this program to other inner islands of Seychelles.