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Watch: Pace Bonello ready to fulfil athletes’ potential in last term of office

Maltese Olympic Committee president Julian Pace Bonello announced that this will be his last term in office at the local governing body of elite sport but vowed to do everything in his power to help athletes fulfil their potential ahead of key international events.

This week, Pace Bonello won a third successive term in office after he managed to stave off the challenge of Dr Kirill Micallef Stafrace.

The former Malta Tenpin Bowling Federation president said that he was grateful to receive the backing of all affiliated federations and said that he is now looking forward to start implementing a number of schemes to provide a bright future for Maltese athletes.

Maltese Olympic Committe president Julian Pace Bonello. Videos: Chris Sant Fournier

“I am very grateful for the strong support I received from the associations’ delegates,” Pace Bonello said.

“This will be my third and final term in office as I feel that after a certain amount of time it will be the right time to move on and leave space for someone else to bring in fresh energy to our organisation.

“Now I am focused on the next three years where there is a lot of work to be done. We have several projects and schemes that have helped athletes in the last years and we intend to further strengthen them.

“Added to that, we intend to focus on the grassroots sector which we believe represents the future of Maltese sport, and we also want to give a stronger voice to the athletes and to this end Eleonor Bezzina, the chairman of the athletes commission will be attending MOC Executive meetings.”

During his speech, Pace Bonello said that the MOC has also plans to revitalise the Friendship Games and said that he will speak to those federations that will be interested to take part and then will see which countries will be willing to send athletes to compete against Maltese athletes.

Kevin Azzopardi, the newly-elected general secretary, said that he feels honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve in this prestigious post and said that his main priority is to help local federations to strengthen their administrative sector.

Charlene Attard, the new Maltese Olympic Committee Director of Sport.

“It’s a huge privilege for me to be given the opportunity to serve as general secretary,” Azzopardi, who again paid tribute to outgoing general secretary Joe Cassar, said.

“I look forward to serve with humility close to the affiliated federations from an administrative point of view. Until today, the associations were run on a voluntary basis but I feel that there are a number of schemes that should be used to help strengthen administrative structures of the governing bodies.

“As my colleagues said, the investment in grassroots is also very important and we should also work harder to increase the level of sport in Malta as we should aspire that with the right strategy in place help our athletes win a medal at the Olympic Games.”

Charlene Attard, the new MOC Director of Sport, said she is relishing the challenge of helping the Maltese athletes ahead of major international events.

“I have been working in the technical commission at the MOC for several years under my predecessor Ivan Balzan and now I’m ready to use my experience as an athlete to help our talent to maximise their potential,” Attard, a former GSSE medallist in 100m and 200m, said.

“Our goal is to work closer with the federations and to this end we will try to increase communication with all federations with monthly meetings ahead of major international competitions such as the 2023 GSSE, the Commonwealth Games and the Mediterranean Games.”

Paul Sultana is now the new Maltese Olympic Committee Deputy president and he said that he feels that with all the experience he gained in the last years within the organisation, it was time to take a more leading role alongside president Pace Bonello.

“After eight years at the Maltese Olympic Committee, where I was in charge of the youth elite scheme as well as serving as chef de mission in several major Games, I felt the time was right for me to take a more leading role in this committee,” Sultana said.

“I enjoy a great relationship with president Julian Pace Bonello and I believe that I can be of great support for him so that we fulfil all the work that has to be done ahead of major Games, particularly the 2023 Games of the Small States of Europe that will be staged in Malta.”

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