SportMalta in collaboration with Bank of Valletta has distributed funds of the Youth Development Scheme to 20 athletes. The scheme which was aimed at assisting athletes who have not yet attained 18 years of age, was launched last November. The assistance provided through this scheme is intended to financially assist these athletes in participating in international competitions beyond our shores.
The scheme, equally funded by SportMalta and Bank of Valletta, will assist 20 athletes who were selected by a board of experts following an evaluation of the applications received by the athletes following a request for information made to the national sports organization of the respective sporting discipline. The evaluation was based on specific criteria that took into consideration the level of the competition that the athletes will be participating in and the development that will result from their participation on both a personal and national level.
SportMalta has strengthened this scheme to enhance its support to the young athletes and to invest in them as potential representatives of our country. Such investment in our young athletes is necessary for the improvement of Malta’s participation in international competitions. Such financial burden would be very hard to sustain by the young athletes themselves, their parents and the respective national sports organisation. . Moreover it is vital that these young athletes participate in such competitions as they provide them with the necessary experience to ameliorate their professional career in general and their performance in international events.The ultimate aim is for Malta to produce as many suitable athletes as possible for the Small Nations Games of 2023 and other international competitions in the years to come.
Apart from this SportMalta offers a number of schemes to assist individual athletes, clubs and associations to advance in their professional development and to reach international levels. Schemes directly aimed towards athletes are the Flexi Training Scheme and the Sport Leave Scheme both conceived to support the athlete in reaching a balance between work and training hours. The International Participation Scheme helps athletes whilst participating abroad whereas there are other schemes such as the Elite Athletes’ Development and Support Scheme and a scheme specifically for Gozitans.
The funds were distributed during a press conference held at the BOV Centre in Santa Venera ans was addressed by Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Luciano Busuttil, Chairman of SportMalta and Charles Azzopardi, Head PR and Marketing of Bank of Valletta.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Chris Agius said “investing in our youths is a priority for this government as we believe that in the future we will reap the benefits in the sport sector”. He maintained that structured funds would continue assisting youths in their participation in international competitions. He sustained that this scheme is complimentary to the recent financial agreement reached with the Malta Olympic Committee as both are intended to give priority to our youths. He commended this initiative by BOV and encouraged other entities to follow lead and join forces with the government to improve the sports industry.
Luciano Busuttil, Chairman of SportMalta stated that following considerable investment in the sport facilities it is now the time to invest in people. He specified that this is only one initiative that SportMalta is applying in the youth sector.
The Chairman praised the parents for the continuous support they offer to their children and invited them to encourage other parents to do the same. He sustained that the young athletes should inspire other children and act as role models. “Only through such a system would we be able to create a strong and inclusive society”, concluded Busuttil.
“This is the first time that a sport scheme is not totally financed by SportMalta or in collaboration with another government department or entity”, said Dr. Karen Zammit Southernwood. She explained the procedures that will be applied in order to implement the scheme, in collaboration with both the youths and the associations so as to guarantee good governance. Dr. Zammit Southernwood announced that there will be upcoming meetings for the athletes so that they can understand better the benefits of this scheme.
‘It is with great pleasure that we present the first beneficiaries of the Youth Development Scheme, a collaboration between SportMalta and Bank of Valletta’ said Charles Azzopardi, Head PR and Marketing at Bank of Valletta. ‘Bank of Valletta has established itself as the major supporter of sporting initiatives in Malta but we have always felt that we could do more to support the development of the future sporting generation’
‘This collaboration with SportMalta provides us with the perfect avenue to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle while empowering success among our youth’ concluded Mr Azzopardi.
The beneficiaries of the scheme are:
|MAAA (Malta Amateur Athletics Association)||Chouhal Sarah|
|MAAA (Malta Amateur Athletics Association)||Zahra Kurt|
|MAAA (Malta Amateur Athletics Association)||Cristina Alessia|
|MAAA (Malta Amateur Athletics Association)||Martini Luca|
|Malta Tennis Federation||Degabriele Alex|
|MTBA (Malta Tenpin Bowling Association)||Xuereb Sara|
|MTBA (Malta Tenpin Bowling Association)||Magro Mathew|
|MTBA (Malta Tenpin Bowling Association)||Xuereb Edward|
|MTBA (Malta Tenpin Bowling Association)||Galea Luke|
|MWA (Malta Weightlifting Association)||Vassallo Shelby|
|MWA (Malta Weightlifting Association)||Mifsud Kieran|
|MTTA (Malta Table-Tennis Association)||Pace Sacha|
|MTTA (Malta Table-Tennis Association)||Cutajar Anthea|
|MTTA (Malta Table-Tennis Association)||Puli Conrad|
|MTTA (Malta Table-Tennis Association)||Vella James|
|MKF (Malta Karate Federation)||Micallef Sean|
|MKF (Malta Karate Federation)||Farrugia Joelle|
|MKF (Malta Karate Federation)||Borg Barbara|
|MKF (Malta Karate Federation)||Rapa Michela|
|MKF (Malta Karate Federation)||Galea Sarah|
Photos from the event can be viewed here