A record sum for Special Olympics Malta – € 420,000 in direct assistance from SportMalta
At a conference at the National Swimming Pool in Tal-Qroqq, Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli, Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima and the President of Special Olympics Malta Dr Lydia Abela chaired the signing of a new agreement between SportMalta and Special Olympics Malta which will lead to SportMalta handing over € 420,000 to Special Olympics Malta over a period of three years.
This agreement will be helping Special Olympics Malta athletes so that they can continue to participate in the International Special Olympics Games and in training camps abroad. In addition, through these funds, Special Olympics Malta will be investing in kits and equipment that it will need from time to time.
At the beginning of her speech, the Minister for Inclusion and Quality of Life Julia Farrugia Portelli congratulated Dr Lydia Abela who has just been appointed President of Special Olympics Malta.
“Through this agreement between this year and the year 2023 Special Olympics Malta will be given € 420,000, a sum that shows a substantial increase on what has been given so far, € 100,000 per year. Very significant is the fact that our country, one of the smallest in the world, will be hosting a world sports event for disabled persons next year, the Special Olympics Games. Significant because it shows that our country is being recognized and appreciated for the way it works and does everything possible to make persons with disabilities feel integrated in society, including in sports. We will be showing that a sporting event of this quality with its protagonists being persons with disabilities is a way towards unity, love and inclusion. People with disabilities will show that they too have an important role to play in unity and love among nations, a role that reflects the principle of inclusion in the society we so strongly believe in,” she said. Minister Farrugia Portelli.
At the end of her speech, Minister Farrugia Portelli thanked all those from Special Olympics Malta who are working hard for the benefit of people with disabilities and promised them that they will continue to find the Government behind them.
Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima, while praising Special Olympics Malta for the valuable work done throughout the year, stressed that this work with Special Olympics Malta will bear fruit when in 2022 Malta will be hosting a Special Olympics international event. The Parliamentary Secretary went on to say that the direction of the government is to be a strategic partner of sports associations and federations so that proper planning can be done and thus ensuring stability and work leading to positive change. He concluded that in recent years Special Olympics athletes have achieved various successes both on a sporting level, including in international forums, as well as on a human and personal level where the full development of the person is achieved.
The President of Special Olympics Dr Lydia Abela said that she is proud that together with the National Director of Special Olympics she managed to negotiate with SportMalta the largest financial package for the next three years. The agreement will help Special Olympics in their day-to-day operations and to continue to invest in their athletes and assist them in their development and offer parental support.
Dr. Lydia Abela said that this is an exciting time for Special Olympics and for the whole country, as next year for the first time in 20 years our country will host the international games of Special Olympics. She said that she is certain that as a country we will unite behind our athletes who will continue to honour Malta, and above all make us proud.
SportMalta Chief Executive Mark Cutajar stressed that it is SportMalta’s mission to help create an inclusive society and therefore this contract is of great importance. A contract that will help Special Olympics Malta to be able to reach its objectives more easily, objectives that are not only sporting but also to unleash the potential of every Special Olympics athlete and to support not only the athletes, but also their family. SportMalta is committed that in addition to financial aid, it also helps by hiring a number of specialized coaches to help children in every aspect.