During a press conference, Caritas Malta announced information about a new event that will be added to its annual calendar as a physical activity. The “Caritas Run For Life” will take place on October 22nd, starting at 8 in the morning, starting from the San Blas Therapeutic Center in Ħaż-Żebbuġ.
10 Km race;5 Km race;2.5 Km walk;1 Km race for children between 6 and 9 years old;2.5 Km race for children between 10 and 13 years old.
In the context of societal challenges associated with substance abuse and the problems that drug addiction brings to families and individuals, Caritas Malta, while continuing its work with those seeking help, recognizes the need for campaigns promoting healthy activities and a healthy life.
Caritas Malta believes that everyone in our society – children, teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors – needs opportunities to experience the beauty of life. The Director of Caritas Malta noted how a significant number of residents are engaging themselves in sports activities, which have also led residents to compete in sports activities abroad. “In fact, I would like to acknowledge the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, as with the continuous support of Sportmalta, one of the slots of sporting activities in the weekly therapeutic program is organized by Sportmalta coaches. When we shared the idea of Run for Life with them, they offered their support.”
Mr. Gatt continued to explain that this investment in sports is integrated into the program at Dar Charles Miceli – Aftercare Center. Here, a highly active football team was established, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caritas Athletics Team was also formed. This team consists of staff members working together with clients who have successfully reintegrated into society. Young people from the Ibwar Adolescent Therapeutic Center also participate in these activities.
San Blas, which opened in 1989, has seen thousands of individuals reclaim their lives from the clutches of addiction over the years. The Therapeutic Community at San Blas provides various tools to help individuals recovering from addiction. Sports play a vital role in both the program and, even more so, after the program.
“This very activity we are announcing today was an initiative from several members of our staff and clients. Together with Caritas Malta’s Prevention team, they wanted to offer activities that promote physical and sports-related activities. This activity is for those who are already active in sports and encourages those who are just beginning to take their first steps toward a more active and healthy lifestyle. Participation also involves a donation to Caritas, as the funds raised will support all the social services that Caritas provides free of charge.”
“I cannot fail to mention the support of our sponsors without whom this activity would not be possible. Our main sponsor, Convenience Shop, Go and Fun Isotonic Sport Drink, will be providing goodie bags for participants, Garmin will be offering their products as raffle prizes for participants, and GS Health and Safety,” concluded the Director of Caritas Malta.
San Blas is a beacon of new life and a powerful statement that one can live a substance-free life. The young people I met at the beginning had dabbled in all sorts of drugs, including cigarettes. They no longer turn to drugs to numb difficult emotions or to escape. Through sports, they are living life! We follow in their footsteps!”
Mr. Ray Spiteri, President of St. Patrick’s Athletic Club, reflects on the 60th anniversary celebration of the Athletics Club’s founding. He notes that the club’s beginnings trace back to the Salesians of Sliema, with its founders being Fr. Murray and Bro. O’Meara. In a few words, he expresses gratitude to Caritas for this initiative and continues, “We emphasize to our members the importance of participating in physical activities according to their abilities, as through this discipline, one can strengthen their personality.” He urges everyone to join in this run and walk in support of Caritas Malta, which does so much to help society.
Charlene Ciantar, Secretary of St. Patrick’s Athletic Club, provides technical details about the specially designed route for this activity. The route is considered fast due to its low elevation of 35 meters and is entirely in the countryside. “It is aimed at competitive and experienced athletes as well as those who want to join us for the walk, and they can also bring their dogs along. The route will be closed to traffic. Each race starts from the front and ends at the San Blas Therapeutic Center, which is undoubtedly a unique opportunity for participants, as access to San Blas is normally restricted.”
“For this activity, each participant will receive a medal and a commemorative t-shirt,” explains Charlene Ciantar. “After the race, there will be an awards presentation in the competitive categories.”
Mr. Mark Cutajar, CEO of Sportmalta, speaks about Sportmalta’s mission, which is to lead the nation towards a healthier and more inclusive life and to achieve success. “When you see something happening in Caritas centers, with this activity, Sportmalta’s mission is complete. Sports help you live a healthier life, and San Blas is a place where we assist everyone in feeling included.” Mr. Cutajar concludes by noting the significant success stories that these residents have when they participate in these activities and build themselves up. He makes an appeal for everyone to choose their route on October 22nd to show support for Caritas.
Honorable Minister Clifton Grima explains that those who seek help from Caritas are rebuilding their lives, and he encourages anyone who is in a position to help to do so. He states, “Caritas Run for Life is a celebration of all the good that Caritas does. Many know that you help people, but not everyone appreciates the enormous difference it makes in the lives of those who benefit from this service. Sportmalta lends a hand through coaches, helping residents engage in physical activities. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of St. Patrick’s Athletic Club, there couldn’t be a better gift than to join an organization that, in principle, believes in life.”
One can apply through the following link: [https://forms.office.com/e/fmFzDfQjkH](https://forms.office.com/e/fmFzDfQjkH) or on Caritas Malta’s website [caritasmalta.org](https://www.caritasmalta.org) or through the Caritas Malta Facebook page. Companies that want to join the staff or groups can contact them at 79555915 or 22199000.
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