Guest of honor of Mauritius Telecom to inaugurate the MUGA sports center in Beau-Vallon on Wednesday afternoon, the Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth, emphasized the importance of practicing sport and physical activities. He took the opportunity to send an undisguised warning to his adversaries.

During his thirty-minute speech, if he more or less left politics aside, the Prime Minister did not fail to make some unequivocal allusions. Like, for example, when he mentioned the inauguration of a MUGA center in Malherbes which includes a space for boxing. “You saw that I had put on boxing gloves. You will see how I will knock out my opponents,” said the head of government. He said there is a “vision and a plan” for the country. “I know in which direction I am taking the country (…). These people who criticize cannot see further than the end of their noses. I am proud of what my government is doing and what we are leaving behind,” he said.

Pravind Jugnauth spoke of the importance he gives to sport and physical activities, “compared to all the former Prime Ministers and their priorities and speeches. You will definitely see the difference between them and me.” And to highlight that a large part of the population suffers from non-communicable diseases, including diabetes and hypertension. “It’s alarming,” he said.

A consequence, according to him, of a sedentary lifestyle, development and modernity. “A lot of people don’t do enough movement. Many of our young people spend their time on social networks, on their phone, laptop or iPad. I'm not saying you shouldn't do all that. This is part of progress and development and these are tools that we use to be more efficient and improve our knowledge. But many young people spend too much time sitting. We need balance in our lives,” he stressed.

Citing official figures dating from 2021, Pravind Jugnauth highlighted that one in five Mauritian adults suffers from diabetes, around 31% have hypertension, 40% are overweight and almost 46% are obese. “Doesn’t that shock you?” », he said, before specifying that only 23% of the population exercises physical activity.

75% of the inactive population

“More than 75% of our population is inactive. With progress and improvement in the quality of life and a lot of support that the government gives, our lifestyle has evolved. Our food consumption has also changed. It's a fact that when we consume so much fast food, fried foods and fatty foods, it makes an explosive cocktail. The government must act on this,” he conceded.

His wish is that the population can have access to secure and good quality sports infrastructure. “We are democratizing access to activities. It is at the same time a meeting place for locals, so that they can de-stress. When you do physical activity, it de-stresses you and helps you with your health,” he said.

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