SportMalta will be hosting the European Week of Sport between September 23 and 30, chief executive officer Mark Cutajar announced during a news conference at the Cottonera Sports Complex yesterday.
The European Week of Sport will see SportMalta organising a host of activities to encourage the public to take part in physical activity.
“The European Week of Sport started after the Maltese EU presidency on the government’s insistence that sports funds should be divided by all countries and not only the big ones,” Cutajar said.
“The European Week of Sport here in Malta has grown over the years and according to the Euro barometer the number of people who conduct physical activity is growing which is a good sign but it’s still not enough we need to work more.”
Cutajar said that the European Week of Sport will get under way on September 23 with a programme of activities at the Kirkop Sport Complex.
“More than 20 sporting federations will be taking part in the event and these vary from individual disciplines and team sport,” Cutajar said.
“The activity will get under way at 6pm.”
On September 25, the BeActive Night will be held at the Cottonera Sports Complex.
“This year’s event will consist of an Obstacle Uphill Sprint Relay that will feature 32 athletes that will be split into eight teams and will be held on a knock-out basis,” Cutajar said.
“The teams will be guided by the European Week of Sport Ambassadors who will be tasked to encourage their athletes to prepare well for the event.”
Cutajar also announced that the local councils will play an active part in the European Week of Sport.
The SportMalta CEO said that he was pleased with the great collaboration with the local councils and they will be playing a very important role in the event as they will be organising sports activities in their town’s squares to bring sport to the heart of the localities.
Cutajar added that a media campaign will also be launched to promote the importance of voluntary work in sport.
Meanwhile Cutajar announced the names of the eight sports athletes that will act as Ambassadors during the European Week of Sport.
“This year we have chosen athletes who represented Malta in top level competitions such as the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games,” Cutajar said.
“These are Sacha Gatt, Yazmin Zammit Stevens, Matthew Bugeja, Vlada Kravchenko, Matthew Abela, Eleonor Bezzina, Andrew Chetcuti, Thomas Borg and Carla Scicluna.”
On his part, Luciano Busuttil, SportMalta chairman, said that the European Week of Sport was the flagship event of the organisation and he encouraged the local councils to make their premises available for the public to conduct physical activity.
On the other hand, Clifton Grima, the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport, said that SportMalta worked hard over the years to promote physical activity.
He said that it was now important for the government to step up its drive to bring more balance between sport and education.
“If our country is to move forward we cannot continue to argue that there is a difference between academical education and physical education,” Dr Grima said.
“We need to have one education system that recognises the importance of an increase in physical education. It’s important that we don’t underestimate the importance of sport both from a physical as well from a mental point of view.
“Sport must be an integral part of society on how one can plan his lifestyle.”