Twenty-seven member states and many other countries across Europe and the western Balkans throughout this week are having a massive campaign in order to get their population more active.
The European week of Sport is an initiative by the European Commission to create awareness towards the need of physical activity in one’s life. The European week of Sport was symbolically launched by Commissioner Maria Gabriel in Bled, Slovenia, the country which holds the EU Presidency of the Council.
Malta, through SportMalta, the government entity for sport, organised two main events and many other satellite events for the Maltese population to be more active.
On Thursday, the Kirkop Sport Complex was transformed into a sport village where many associations, federation and clubs displayed their sport.
Hundreds of athletes from different ages and abilities took part in this event which was endorsed by the presence of
Minister Julia Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clifton Grima.
Traditional team sports such as basketball, netball, rugby and football sessions were organised for their nurseries. There were also other individual disciplines such as table-tennis, table
football, weightlifting, a show of BMX, kendo, judo, badminton, taekwondo, gymnastics, triathlon, line dancing, athletics and waterpolo.
The SportMalta programme ‘On the Move’ was also active with displays from its various academies.
There were also competitions organised by Special Olympics Malta and the Frame football association who had recently received 31 frames donated by SportMalta for the sport to keep expanding.
SportMalta employees and coaches were also very active to distribute various freebies with the Be Active logo for the message to be passed on to their families.
On Saturday, all of Europe celebrated the BeActive night.
For the second year running, SportMalta organised an Obstacle course relay which was transmitted live on TV. The competition was held in the adventure park adjacent to the Cottonera Sport Complex.
Eight teams made up of four participants (two male and two females) took part in a knockout competition.
The teams had non-playing captains, many of whom were ambassadors of this year’s European Week of Sport.
The obstacles varied with the athletes being challenged on good grip and core strength.
All 32 athletes tried hard to get their body over and around the obstacles on a slippery terrain, made more difficult with rain simulation throughout the course.
The activity was accompanied by speeches from Dr Lydia Abela who focussed on the various initiatives she is launching to promote physical activity for healthy citizenship, Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima, SportMalta chairman Luciano Busuttil and National Coordinator Rosemarie Mercieca.
After three hard-fought battles, the team captained by Special Olympics athlete Matthew Bugeja emerged the winners, beating the team captained by Olympian Matthew Abela.
The team led by Paralympian Thomas Borg finished third.
SportMalta chief executive officer Mark Cutajar presented the trophy and €800 in sport equipment to the winning team.
During the Be Active night, SportMalta launched two parallel campaigns.
The first one focused on creating a balance between sport and education.
A number of sport personalities of all ages passed their message through short video clips.
These included waterpolo youngster Jayden Cassar, young tennis player Kayleigh Busuttil, 400m runner Janet Richards, former 400m runner Charlene Attard, football coach Paul Zammit, parent Mariella Borg Costanzi and special Olympian Rachel Chircop.
The second set of clips promoted volunteering with coaches /administrators Joseph Muscat (basketball), Philip Ciantar (Snooker), Mario Aquilina (Sailing) and Marie Vidal (Special Olympics) encouraging followers to join and volunteer and club and national level.
For more information about the European week of Sport which will come to an end on September 30 you can join the web on www.sportmalta.mt