Eleanor Bezzina nominated as Team Captain
The recently announced Maltese contingent for the Games of the Small States of Europe was hosted by Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela at Auberge de Castille.
Over 200 athletes will be competing in 10 disciplines which will be part of the sports programme for the nineteenth edition of the Games of the Small States of Europe. This is the third time the Games are being hosted in Malta.
Speaking to the Maltese athletes at the Auberge de Castille courtyard, Prime Minister Abela remarked about the unprecedented investment in the Games. This investment has resulted in new or refurbished state of the art facilities as well as training programmes which prepared athletes for these Games. Dr Abela added, that whilst the current primary focus are these Games, the results achieved should be a stepping stone for greater achievements in other international events, including high level games such as the Olympic Games.
“Malta is desirous in achieving results that will also serve as an inspiration to all children who will benefit from the sport infrastructure completed for these Games.” – Dr Robert Abela.
The athletes were also addressed by Education and Sport Minister Clifton Grima who observed that these Games had come a long way since the initial days when the Games were just a dream. It is evident that there was full co-operation by many individuals, who’s dedication towards these Games was shown by many hours of quietly working in the background but brought together with a desire to write sporting history in gold lettering.
Maltese Olympic Committee President Julian Pace Bonello expressed his conviction that the investment put in towards athletes’ preparation – whether it is infrastructure or technical preparation, would bear fruit and make Malta proud.
The Organising Committee’s chairperson Mark Cutajar presented a set of medals to Prime Minister, Minister of Education and Sport and MOC President. The medal’s design is based on the Games logo, which merges the famous Olympic rings with a Maltese icon recognised by many.
The Maltese Olympic Committee also designed Olympic shooting Eleanor Bezzina as Captain of the Contingent. As she expressed her gratitude for the support shown to athletes, stating that the three-fold formula of having state of the art facilities, international training and development opportunities, and athletes’ full commitment to train was a step in the right direction, expressing her hope that this kind of investment is ongoing.
Bezzina went on to announce that Mediterranean Games medallist Elaine Genovese (Tennis) and European Youth Olympic Festival medallist Matthew Galea Soler (athletics) would be the two athletes who will carry the Maltese flag during the opening ceremony of the Small Nations Games to be held on the Floriana Granaries.
The Games of the Small States of Europe will take place between the 29th May and 3rd June. Entrance to competitions is free of charge. Games Schedule can be viewed on https://gssemalta2023.mt/schedule/
The XIX Games of the Small States of Europe are being supported by SportMalta, NDSF, Welbee’s Supermarket, National Lottery, MITA, General Soft Drinks, Visit Malta, European Olympic Committees, Go, Enemed, BOV, Transport Malta, Malta International Airport and The Concept Stadium.