The Athletes' Commission
The MOC has created an Athletes' Commission, whose members represent all Mauritian athletes who are members of an IOC recognised sports federation. There are five members of the Commission, with an obligation of parity of at least 60/40 for gender representation.
Normally, according to IOC regulations, athletes must have participated in at least one Olympiad to be eligible for a Commission seat. However, given the limited number of Mauritian athletes who have participated in the Olympics, the MOC obtained IOC permission for two Commonwealth Games participants to be eligible.
According to the rule established by the IOC, the MOC Athletes' Commission must be composed of three Olympians and two former Commonwealth Games participants.
Elections of the Commission members take place every four years. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are entitled to a seat at the MOC Board meetings. The last elections took place on 22 February 2021.
Members of the Athletes Commission (2021-2025)
Marie Christianne Legentil
28 years old, judo (president)
The Mauritian judo legend (see bio) stood for election to the Commission to contribute to the development of Mauritian athletes. According to her, there is still a lot to be done at this level, especially after the athletes' sporting careers.
“During their sporting careers, Mauritian athletes receive a lot of support from the authorities or other institutions. Unfortunately, the post-sports career transition is difficult for many of them, especially those who have privileged sports over studies. In fact, there are a number of top sportsmen and women in Mauritius who have gone wrong, fallen into drugs or become delinquents. It is sad, especially as they have contributed to making Mauritius shine at the international level”, she explains.
As an athletes' representative, another of her priorities will be to promote sport more among young Mauritians. She feels that there is a lot of work to be done in this area in Mauritius, but she believes that sport can contribute to making society better.
Bruno Julie, 43 ans
Bruno Julie is a man who needs no introduction in Mauritius. The former boxer is the holder of the only Olympic medal ever won by a Mauritian athlete, bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The legendary pugilist, nicknamed The Mauritian Magician, stood for election to the Athletes' Committee in order to contribute to local sport.
Taking his own example, he explains that before he discovered boxing, he was a fighter. Boxing has given him discipline and self-control, not to mention the great emotions and excitement of the big international events. "Boxing has given me so much during my career, my goal now is to pay my debt and contribute to the well-being of young people through sport," he says. Bruno is already doing this as coach of the Tranquebar Boxing Club, which is currently dominating national boxing, but he wants to go further in this process.
He argues that many young Mauritians have all the necessary qualities to shine at the highest level in their respective disciplines, but that they often lack ambition and strength of character. “I remember at a meeting of African athletes before the 2008 Olympics, we were asked what our goal was. Everyone laughed when I said I was aiming for a medal, as if you can't do much when you come from a small country like Mauritius. It is true that we lack the means compared to the big nations, but if we are defeatist at the beginning we will not achieve anything. Our young athletes must believe in their abilities and have enough ambition to achieve excellence", says the champion.
His goal as a member of the Athletes' Commission is to provide as much support as possible to the young aspiring champions so that they can fly the flag at major international events.
28 years old, table tennis (member)
A true table tennis phenomenon in Mauritius, Caroline Ramasawmy is a young woman with her head firmly on her shoulders. She has been dominating local and regional competitions since she was a young girl, and also shines in international competitions such as the Commonwealth Games, all the while juggling her sporting and professional career (she works in a bank) perfectly.
Caroline has a strong determination, and it takes a lot of determination to make it in the highly competitive Mauritian table tennis scene. As a member of the Athletes' Commission, she would like to make things happen for the benefit of high level athletes and represent their interests to the national authorities.
25 years old, badminton (member)
The Mauritian badminton prodigy (see bio) is very concerned about the well-being of his fellow athletes. Above all, he would like to contribute to improving the overall performance of Mauritian sport, which is why he registered for the commission's elections. Lucid and gifted with excellent analytical skills, he is aware of his country's strengths and weaknesses in sport (especially badminton), and intends to do his best to change the situation.
“In Mauritius, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to live only on sport. I am at a point where I am hesitating between my sporting career and studying to learn a trade. We have to make choices, which are sometimes very difficult. Personally, I would like to be able to combine sport and work. A career as a coach could be interesting and it would allow me to contribute to the national development of badminton. Unfortunately, in Mauritius, we tend to use foreign coaches too often, we don't have enough confidence in the abilities of our compatriots. But we do not lack talent”, explains the badminton player.
35 years old, athletics (member)
Annabelle Lascar-Josée is a specialist in the 800 metres and has represented Mauritius at the Olympic Games twice, in 2008 and 2012, twice failing to reach the quarter-finals. Having participated in many international events, she was keen to be part of the commission to share her experience with other athletes from other sports.
“My goals as a member of the commission are to be a voice for all athletes and to help them solve their daily problems. I want to defend their interests, in the hope that one day another Mauritian can win an Olympic medal, like our magician Bruno Julie”, she explains.
According to Annabelle, high-level sportsmen and women are too often disregarded in Mauritian society. Taking her example, she says that athletes have to make great sacrifices for years to reach an international level: "Whether they are on the podium or not, our athletes make a lot of sacrifices every day in order to be able to proudly represent their country at major events. They are true ambassadors for our little island," she says.
She also thinks that some athletes should perhaps be better guided in their professional careers, and possibly offered work facilities so that they can devote more time to their sport. "And above all, we must treat them with the recognition they deserve once their sporting career is over," Annabelle maintains.