Craig Heeger of Eden Island and Ramu Pillay of Pillay R. Group each made R1 million pledge towards the trust fund. They then signed the pledge to become the first two diamond sponsors of Seychelles sports.
The ceremony took place in the presence of Vice-President Joseph Belmont; Community Development, Youth, Sports and Culture minister Vincent Meriton; Education minister Bernard Shamlaye, and other guests.
The Major Games Trust Fund is divided into five categories – diamond (with a sponsorship of at least R1 million), platinum (with a sponsorship of between R700,000 and R900,000), gold (with a sponsorship of between R450,000 and R650,000), silver (with a sponsorship of between R200,000 and R400,000) and bronze (with a sponsorship of at least R100,000).
Individuals and companies who make sponsorships towards the trust fund get incentives like 150% tax rebate, free publicity in the media, invitations to the Sports Awards of the Year crowning ceremony, billboards promoting them displayed at sports venues, their logos appearing on the different Games’ letterheads, VIP passes for the Games and their representatives will present medals at the Games.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Meriton said that being an “important factor in bringing people together, sports can lift the spirit of the nation.”
He added that sports makes a unique contribution to the Seychelles society as it improves the nation’s health, provides employment and helps the economy to flourish.
“Government fully recognizes its social responsibility to support and invest in sports as part of its commitment towards the well-being of all its citizens… The social responsibility has also been recognized by the private sector and their input in the general sports networking system now provides the additional catalyst to move the ideals and promotion of sports to greater heights,” said Minister Meriton.
As the demand and needs of Seychelles young sporting community keep increasing, the National Sports Council has started discussions with private sector operators to conclude joint venture agreements with a view to boost its revenue generation capacity and attain financial autonomy.
The minister added that the 150% tax rebate scheme for sports approved by President James Michel “will allow private sector operators who believe passionately in the promotion of sports to ensure development which will allow the Seychelles sports fraternity to host major international events.”
The rebate incentive package is expected to facilitate the promotion and the development of a network of quality facilities around the country designed to meet the training, coaching and competition needs of athletes and competitors across a wide spectrum of sports.
“We value your investment in the economic development of Seychelles. As a result of your wise business judgment and decision, you are reaping the benefits from opportunities offered in the major development sectors. View your participation in the innovative project not as an expense but as an investment in the youth of this country, as an investment in the health of the workforce, and an investment which also guarantees dividends. Be bold! Step into this partnership with confidence. It will result in a win-win outcome. Your enterprise will be a winner, the sports movement will be a winner and the country will be a winner,” Minister Meriton said.
The idea of the Major Games Trust Fund is that of the Protocol and Marketing committee of the CJSOI Games Bureau. It is chaired by Giovanna Rousseau and the other members are Jacqueline Gertrude, Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, Lydia Charlie, Galen Bresson, Glenn Pillay, Terry Romain, Teryl Servina, Larrey Chetty, Guillaume Albert, Radley Weber and Elvis Chetty.
The trust fund is to be run by a board comprising representatives of the private and public sectors.