World Athletics has confirmed Athletics Malta’s bid to host an international meeting of the World Athletics Tour in July this year.
The event, which will take the name of The Maltese Islands Grand Prix 2021, provides a route to the major championships for international elite athletes in track and field, a destination for fans to see great athletics, plus a celebration of the unique nature of athletics with participants from across the globe.
The Continental Tour, which is considered as the second highest tier in international athletics after the Diamond League, provides a high level of competition and is supported through prize money allocated by the international federation.
Participation is highly sought after as it provides athletes with world ranking points and the opportunity to qualify for major international competitions such as the World Championships and the Olympics.
The Maltese Islands Grand Prix 2021, to be held at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium in Marsa on July 3, will help put Malta on the international sporting map through increased visibility, financial benefits for further investment in our facilities, particularly technology related to the sport and the wider power of aggregation.
It will also provide unprecedented exposure and experience to Maltese administrators, track and field officials and athletes.
The organisation of this event also fits in perfectly with Athletics Malta’s long-term objective of strengthening the sport tourism industry in Malta. The Tour is expected to bring to Malta over 400 persons, including athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and members of the international press. It also provides ample visibility to Malta with the meeting receiving coverage and live streaming to the international sporting community.
While thanking Athletics Malta for its work, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima stated that the government is committed to keep on hosting international events in Malta.
“This government is committed to ensuring that sport is central in society and in our lives. Through the National Strategy for Sports we are identifying and nurturing professional athletes. Malta has the ideal ecosystem to host high-level events, including state-of-the-art sports facilities, good weather and a great atmosphere.
“I have no doubt that we have the necessary resources to satisfy our ambitions while helping young athletes make a name for themselves on an international level,” concluded Parliamentary Secretary Grima.
Athletics Malta President Andy Grech welcomed with delight Malta’s success in attracting such an event: “This event is a major turning point for Maltese sport, not just for athletics. Last year, we had announced our vision of contributing towards Malta’s development as an international sporting hub. Managing, at such an early stage of this process, to attract such a high-profile event to our shores, is a huge satisfaction.
“At the same time, it puts on us significant responsibility in delivering a top-quality event, not only in sporting terms but also in effectively showcasing what Malta is able to offer, an opportunity to truly put Malta among the nations that matter in this sport”.