Over 1,300 athletes and officials have officially registered to be part of the XIX Games of the Small States of Europe, which will start on Monday 29th May.
On Friday, the Games Organising Committee welcomed the Chefs de Mission from all participating countries for the registration process. This process is the final process ahead of the start of the Games, which indicates that all of the nine participating countries have successfully provided the necessary information and documentation required for their teams’ participation. Now that the registration is complete, the Games can proceed as planned and Games’ schedules are in the process of being finalised by the technical team. In the meantime, Malta started welcoming athletes who’s arrivals have been scheduled between Saturday and Sunday giving them time to settle down.
The Games schedule is in the final throes of being finalised. The first competitions will start on Monday morning, when Squash and Tennis singles preliminary competitions will start from 9am at the Marsa Sports Club. In the afternoon, Basketball (5×5) will see Cyprus and Luxembourg set foot on court at 1300hrs in Ta’Qali.
By the end of the week, Malta will host a total of 114 events across ten disciplines – athletics, basketball, judo, rugby 7s, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis and tennis. The events will be spread across 11 venues which have been refurbished or rebuilt purposely for these Games.
All schedules and results can be viewed on the Games website on www.gssemalta2023.mt/schedule.
“This week will be a culmination of years of technical preparation. We are confident that our athletes have been well prepared and will produce good results for Malta. We hope that these Games will be the foundation of a long lasting legacy that will see sport in Malta grow both in terms of results as well as increased participation” remarked, Julian Pace Bonello, President, Maltese Olympic Committee.
On Monday evening, a spectacular Opening Ceremony is set to take place on the Floriana Granaries, putting Malta on an international spotlight as around 4,000 people are expected to attend and the event livestreamed by TVM, One TV and Net TV, as well as by national tv stations of participating countries.
The opening ceremony of will celebrate the spirit of unity and showcase the host country’s culture and heritage by featuring various elements, such as artistic performances, music, and dance that highlight the Malta’s history, traditions, and achievements.
The Parade of Nations will start with Andorra and proceed alphabetically, with Malta – as host country – parading last. Malta will be led by flag bearers Elaine Genovese and Matthew Galea Soler who’s medals in the Mediterranean Games and the European Youth Olympic Forum last year were instrumental in the Maltese Olympic Committee’s choice.
Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja will sing the National anthem. The anthem will be followed by the taking of the Olympic Oath which will be read on behalf of the athletes, officials and coaches by sporting personalities who have given a strong contributio to sport throughout the years.
Local Organisation Chairman Mark Cutajar expressed his appreciation towards all those involved. “The amount of hours that the volunteers have put in towards these Games is immense and the value of their contribution is immeasureable” Additionally he expressed his gratitude towards the Government and Minister for Education and Sport Dr Clifton Grima for the ongoing support that was shown as far back as 2019 when Malta won the bid to host the Games.
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.