Joe Bajada, the secretary-general of the Malta Cycling Federation, has now been appointed as the president of a new group within the European Cycling Union (UEC), the Small Countries Commission.
A few weeks ago Bajada has been re-elected to the post as one of 15 delegates who have the right to vote on behalf of the 50 affiliated members at the Annual General Congress of the International Cycling Federation along with 30 other delegates from four confederations.
It was an initiative of the new UEC president, Enrico Della Casa, to set up this commission, and his choice of leader of this group fell on Bajada.
This is a historic appointment for Maltese cycling as it is the first time that a Maltese will hold the position of president of a commission in the European body. This four-year appointment further increases recognition for the valuable work that Bajada is doing on the international cycling scene. In addition to these positions, Bajada is also a member of another similar commission of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
Among the main objectives of this commission is to protect cycling in the Games of the Small States of Europe, where after Montenegro cycling was not part of the programme, for UEC, this is not acceptable.
Another goal is to create specific events so that there is at least one event per year for the nine member countries and organising training camps under the umbrella of UCI Solidarity funds.
The other members who will form part of this Commission are Walter Baldiserra (San Marino), Camille Damm (Luxembourg) and Bjarni Már Svavarsson (Iceland).
Bajada thanked the new president Enrico Della Casa for this nomination as well as the Management Board of the UEC for the approval.
He stated that this is not only a personal success for him but above all for cycling and Maltese Sport in general.
This appointment clearly demonstrates respect, appreciation, and trust that both UCI and UEC put in him and that all this has come after his total commitment to this international sphere.
“This confirms that Maltese cycling is much more recognized in the International Cycling World, as now there is a stronger voice in favour of Malta and similarly sized countries,” Bajada said.]
“My dream is that soon Malta can organize the first championship for Small and Emerging Countries of Europe. In fact, it was a Maltese proposal in 2017 of organizing such a Championship, but due to many factors, this had to be postponed.
“I am grateful to president Enrico Della Casa, the UEC Managing Committee, also John Zammit, the Malta Cycling Federation president, and all members of the local governing body. Last but not least, I thank my family for the continuous support they give me.”
Della Casa, president of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme, in an official statement said: “With the creation of new Commissions, we can now say that we are working at full capacity, faithful to the UEC’s philosophy which is to be at the service of and fully involved with our National Federations.
“The countries represented by members of Commissions for the next four years are no less than 30, which demonstrates our confederation’s enthusiasm and drive and above all important synergy with our grassroots movement.
“I would like to wish the members of new Commissions every success in their work, who will now have the task and responsibility of making their own contribution to the development of our sport in Europe.”