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Dr Lydia Abela officially launches the 'Smiles with Miles' initiative


SportMalta News June 16, 2021 0

Dr Lydia Abela has launched a national project that encourages physical exercise for the well-being and health
of who does it, but also to create a smile on the lips of others.

Dr Lydia Abela officially launches the ‘Smiles with Miles’ initiative

In Cottonera, the Prime Minister’s wife explained how ‘Smiles with Miles’ is a new motivation to
more and more people, of all ages, are starting to do, or even increase, walking or running, with the
physical and mental. While they will be helping themselves, they will also contribute
towards fundraising for specific projects in favor of adolescents in need.

The initiative works very simply. Anyone can download the ‘Smiles with Miles’ app for free
from his phone and go out for a walk or run at any time of the day. The app gives the
facility to measure the mileage a person is doing, and there are different levels of distances that, as soon as
exceed them, be eligible for awards that recognize these personal achievements.

More importantly, your miles will merge with the miles of the entire population.
Upon reaching 250,000 miles, cumulatively, there are a number of private companies, which through the
Their Corporate Social Responsibility, are giving a donation to new health projects for mental health among young people.

Dr. Lydia Abela said that it is a victory for our country to have more active people, who will strengthen their physical and
mental conditions, and experience this activity together with their families in the beautiful environment of
our country. “I believe that there is a need for a country that wants to promote the quality of life and ensure
social status of its people. “3

Dr Lydia Abela officially launches the ‘Smiles with Miles’ initiative

There are two initial goals that will be met with the funds raised in this initiative. First, to create
awareness campaign on the well-being of young people. Using influencers and synonymous role models
with young people, information on existing support services should be provided if
adolescents face mental challenges.
The second priority is to research the challenges of adolescents in today’s world to make the country
aware of what new recommendations it needs to work on to address new areas through
new projects.

After this coming month, ‘Smiles with Miles’ will continue in the coming months and years to become a style of
our life. “It must be a national effort. Your walking will really become worthwhile for you, and for
others, ”concluded Dr Abela.

Meanwhile, psychiatrist Dr Anton Grech praised the theme of the initiative and said it reflected the work
of the professionals in the mental field. Dr. Grech argued that evidence shows that physical exercise is a
type of therapy, like other medical therapies, for adolescents suffering from anxiety. He concluded by
expressing his appreciation for this initiative because it reminds us of the importance of not being able
to have a healthy body without a healthy mind, nor a healthy mind without a healthy body.

SportMalta chief executive Mark Cutajar said it was gratifying to hear the wife of the Prime Minister
Minister encouraging collective effort for physical activity as Team Malta. He stressed that the pandemic has shown that
in Malta you can exercise all the time, because the weather permits it, and we have natural tracks that
make it easier to walk more. He concluded that this initiative goes hand in hand with the
SportMalta in favor of physical exercise that helps you live a better life.



SportMalta News June 16, 2021 0

The Maltese government has committed the necessary funds and resources for our country to host the Special
Olympics in Malta next year.

Prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Special Olympics Malta and Special
Olympics Europe Eurasia, Wife of the Prime Minister Dr Lydia Abela said Malta is truly honoured
with its first-ever opportunity to host these special games. “We feel that, as a country which constantly
strives to strengthen inclusion, Malta is in the right position to showcase the power of different

Dr Abela stated that the Special Olympics Games present the athletes with a life-changing opportunity
to compete and achieve results. She stressed that the event encourages a healthy lifestyle and promote
physical and mental strength. Hence, while Malta is heavily investing in the quality of life of its
people, Malta is the right place at the right time to host this celebration of talent.

The organisation of Special Olympics Games in Malta, following the hardships of the pandemic,
creates a great sense of enthusiasm. “The Maltese and Gozitans will be involved in every phase of
the event because we are committed to making these the People’s Games, which instil confidence in
athletes, celebrate their talents, and show that this country is a model of equality”, concluded Dr

Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima said that
more than 450 athletes participate in the Special Olympics locally. He also stated that these athletes
are not just any athletes, as they each have a unique and interesting story to tell.

The parliamentary secretary also added that throughout the years Maltese athletes participated in 20
international sports events and brought home over 300 medals, all signifying hard work, sacrifices
and experiences.

Chairperson of the Organising Committee for the May 2022 Games MP Oliver Scicluna said that,
through his experience with Special Olympics athletes, he sees that sport helps persons with disability
to believe more in their capabilities and as a result, move on in life. He stated that Malta will be ready
to welcome athletes from different countries who will benefit from this moment of unity and
celebration at Malta’s sports facilities.

President of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia David Evangelista said that these games will be about
celebrating the human spirit and human dignity – celebrating the ideas of Europe: unity, inclusion,
and solidarity. Through these games, we can truly bring European values to the forefront on behalf
of people with intellectual disability. Covid-19 has been such a disrupting element around the world,
but we are ready to usher in a new era of inclusion in Malta, in Europe and beyond with these games.

Maltese Special Olympics athlete Maria James recounted her personal experience of representing
Malta two years ago in Abu Dhabi where she won the silver medal in the 100 meters freestyle in
aquatics. She explained the courage and happiness she felt when she was accepted, included, and
praised by many people of different cultures. Today Maria James feels she is a proud and determined
citizen who can overcome any challenge. She expressed her satisfaction at the fact that Malta will be
hosting this feast of unity and appreciating the talents of all her colleagues.

The Memorandum of Understanding, committing the necessary funds and resources for Malta to host
the Special Olympics Games, was signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Inclusion
and Social Wellbeing Matthew Vella, National Director of Special Olympics Malta Anna Calleja,
and the President of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia David Evangelista.

€ 120,000 investment to heat the Neptunes Waterpolo and Swimming Club swimming pool

SportMalta News April 18, 2021 0

SportMalta will start paying around € 120,000 in operating and gas costs to heat the Neptunes Waterpolo and Swimming Club swimming pool over 3 years.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organizations Clifton Grima said that through this agreement facilities for alternative swimming pools will be increased in order to continue to meet the growing demand on The National Swimming Pool Complex in Tal-Qroqq, so more clubs and swimmers will have more places to train.

Parliamentary Secretary Grima stressed that through this agreement the lines for public use will be increased. SportMalta will have at its disposal around 30 water polo training slots and around 258 hours in swimming lines per week.

The Chairman of SportMalta Luciano Busuttil, said that this is another agreement that SportMalta is making with various sports associations in Malta and Gozo. He went on to say that SportMalta is working with various sports clubs to make the best use of these resources.

Neptunes WPSC President Matthew Bonello, while thanking the Government for this help, stressed that this agreement will continue to help the club to alleviate the costs involved and thus this swimming pool will be able to be heated during this period.


The Government hands over the building of the football club to Kirkop FC

SportMalta News April 16, 2021 0

The building of the Kirkop FC football club has now been transferred to the same club by the Government through an agreement between SportMalta and Kirkop FC. The signing of the agreement was chaired by the Minister for Inclusion and Quality of Life, Julia Farrugia Portelli and the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Volunteering, Clifton Grima.

Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli explained how the priority of this Government is that even children and young people have a better quality of life. Sports are the biggest tool in this regard. She also said that the fact that in a small village such as Kirkop, one will find so many volunteers to lead with dedication various associations, including the football club, fills you with courage, “and it is our duty as a Government to encourage such dedication. We are doing this by signing the contract under which land on which the football stadium and the football club of this village are located will be transferred to the club. ”

Minister Farrugia Portelli added that she is convinced that this will increase the commitment and dedication of the club’s directors for the benefit of the sports field in the village. “We shouldn’t just look at sports through the lens of a hobby, where you spend some time practicing what you love. That sport in itself instills a sense of discipline in those who participate in it, even if indirectly. The mere fact that you have to keep training time, concentrating, practicing a sport discipline such as football collectively are instrumental in developing an individual’s character. What applies to the sports field applies to every area of life, ”said Minister Farrugia Portelli.

She wished Kirkop FC every success in its aspirations, “a success already reflected in what it is offering to the village community, particularly the children and young Koppin.”

Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima explained how with this transfer Kirkop FC will have a decent home where they can train their athletes. He went on to say that the Government’s commitment is to continue to fulfill its electoral sports promises. He stated that this Government wants to foster and strengthen the sports culture from an early age.

“As a government, we are aware that in order to do this we need to invest in sports facilities and in the associations themselves, and that is what we are doing today. We believe we must provide the facilities and assistance so that sports clubs can continue to grow and improve their services. After all, it is our children who enjoy it all. This government is committed to investing so that together we can make the next leap in quality. We want every sport to be given the opportunity to flourish, ”said the Parliamentary Secretary.

The Chairman of SportMalta, Luciano Bussuttil stressed “believing in sport means believing in associations, clubs and above all believing in athletes themselves. This agreement, the last in a series of similar concessions, but certainly not the least, is a demonstration of the fact that SportMalta and above all the Government through Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima, believe in local sport. SportMalta is committed to being at the forefront of continuing to work with clubs and associations and giving them more resources to grow and enhance sport. ”

Kirkop FC Club President Joseph Farrugia stressed that after many years, the dream of this club will come true. He said that this agreement will be an advance for the Kirkop FC club because through it they will be able to extend their work for more good in the community.

Work is well underway on the building known as ‘1903’.

SportMalta News April 9, 2021 0

The Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organizations Clifton Grima together with the Chief Executive Officer of SportMalta Mark Cutajar, visited the ongoing works on the building known as ‘1903’ and the project of Chain Link Fencing surrounding an extensive part of the site with a total investment of around € 600,000.

Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima explained how the Marsa Sports Complex and its surroundings will be transformed into an international level sports hub which will be divided into four zones and will include sports facilities for various sports disciplines including gymnastics and weightlifting.

He stressed that in another area, the land will be used primarily for world-class facilities related to horse racing, equestrian sports, training areas and stables. Ancillary facilities within this area may include grandstand, clubs, assembly and entertainment.

The Parliamentary Secretary said that in another area the land will be related to golf facilities and a golf academy and there will be an area that will include facilities related to the sports disciplines of tennis, squash and cricket.

Signing of triennial agreement between SportMalta and Special Olympics Malta

SportMalta News March 29, 2021 0

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.


New Website Launch

SportMalta News March 17, 2021 0

With a fresh design, innovation and accessibility for everyone, SportMalta launched a new website with all its services grouped together.

The site aims to facilitate accessibility for everyone, using the standards issued by the Malta Communications Authority and Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability. This website also offers a number of services under one roof, spread out for all complexes and facilities that fall under SportMalta’s remit.

Apart from various information about SportMalta’s work, these are some of the services available from this site

  • Applications for various schemes
  • Updated news and information
  • General Assistance
  • Bookings for sport facilities
  • Several SportMalta campaigns
  • Tenders and quotations

SportMalta’s CEO said in a comment that both the internet and social media are important tools in all sectors, a website like this one is a must have, and user friendly,  it is inclusive because it offers accessibility for every one.


SportMalta News March 14, 2021 0

The winners of the SportMalta Awards Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali were announced on Saturday evening during a live transmission aired on TSN1 as well as several facebook pages.

The 61st edition was a unique one due to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation in that it was not one in which finalists and guests could interact socially. Instead a virtual ceremony was held within the guidelines of the legal notice issued recently by the Malta Health Authorities.

Guest speakers during this transmission included Hon. Clifton Grima Parliamentary Secretary responsible from Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations, Dr Luciano Busuttil Chairman SportMalta, CEO SportMalta Mark Cutajar and Sandro Micallef President of the Malta Sports Journalists Association.

Once again this annual awards ceremony was a joint collaboration between the Malta Sports Journalists Association and SportMalta with the backing of the Government Sport Secretariat.

During the live show hosted by Lorraine Cunningham and Chris Cauchi a total of 11 honours were announced seven of which were a result of the jury vote. The other awards were one due to a popular vote by the public, one the choice of the Executive Committee of the Malta Sports Journalists Association and the other two were given out upon a nomination by Special Olympics.

The honours were won as follows:

Sportsman of the Year – DEJAN GRECH (Eight Ball Pool)

Sportswoman of the Year – HALEY BUGEJA (Football)

Male Sports Youth of the Year – RICHARD SCHULTHEIS (Sailing)

Female Sports Youth of the Year – TENISHIA THORNTON (Weightlifting)

Sports Team of the Year – MALTA NATIONAL FEMALE FOOTBALL TEAM (Football)

Sports Coach of the Year – DEVIS MANGIA (National Men Football Team Coach)

Sports Official of the Year – JOSEPH MUSCAT (General Secretary Malta Basketball Association)

International Sports Event of the Year – EIGHT BALL POOL EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

People’s Choice Award  – MARK MARLOW (President Malta Employees Sport Association)

Special Olympics Male Athlete Award – MARK SERGE (Ten Pin Bowling)

Special Olympics Female Athlete Award – KLARA ZAMMIT (Open Water Swimming)

The finalists of the SportMalta Awards – Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali are announced.

SportMalta News March 6, 2021 0

The finalists of this year’s edition of SportMalta Awards – Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali have been announced to recognise the sporting achievements for the year 2020. In a press conference broadcast live on social media, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Clifton Grima, praised the decision of the Organizing Committee not to cancel the event and change the format from one with the audience, to the virtual event form of a  television program. The President of the Sports Journalists Association Sandro Micallef, explained that this decision was taken in the interest of the athletes, officials, sponsors and other guests who were present each year for this annual event but in the present circumstances. and the restrictions imposed this will not be possible. 
The Finalists are as follows: 
Sue Abela (Ten Pin Bowling) 
Haley Bugeja (Football) 
Sasha Gatt (Swimming) 
Rodney Gatt (Horse Racing) 
Dejan Grech (Pool) 
Ben Plumpton (Waterpolo) 
Haley Bugeja (Football) 
Tenishia Thornton (Weightlifting) 
Tara Vella Clark (Gymnastics) 
Kayden Lagana (Ten Pin Bowling) 
Richard Schultheis (Sailing) 
Kijan Sultana (Squash) 
Jesmond Caruana (Weightlifting) 
Devis Mangia (Football) 
Dorian Pisani (Waterpolo)
Vincent Degiorgio (Malta Pool Association) Andy Grech (Athletics Malta) 
Joseph Muscat (Malta Basketball Association)
Football – Team Women’s National 
Futsal – Luxol Futsal Club
Sailing – Elusive II 
During the evening other awards will also be given to the two best athletes of Special Olympics Malta, the People’s Choice Award and the honor of Attivita’ Internazzjonali tas-Sena. Sports Journalists General Secretary Lorraine Cunningham, appealed to the finalists, coaches and relatives of the finalists not to try to approach or influence any journalist in the selection of the final vote. Individuals who do so will be disqualified immediately from the selection process. The Edition of SportMalta Awards – Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali will take place on Saturday 13th March with a live broadcast on TSN as well as on facebook live at 8pm.