€5 million from NDSF for Maltese athletes training/facilities for Small Nations Games
Two years away from the next edition of the Small Nations Games, to be held in Malta, the Government announced the allocation of €5 million to SportMalta for the training of Maltese athletes and the strengthening of the infrastructure so that Malta will host this sporting event.
The funds will be allocated from the National Development and Social Fund, the NDSF, which administers funds coming from ‘Komunita’ Malta’, which runs the Investment Residency Program that leads to citizenship.
Some 3,000 athletes from 10 small states in Europe will be competing in Malta in 10 sport disciplines.
Although preparations are still at an early stage, SportMalta chief executive Mark Cutajar said that the targets for the Maltese athletes performances are ambitious and predictions are that they win 23 gold medals. In this regard, a professional program is being drafted for the athletes.
“You need a high level infrastructure and with today’s investment on the athletes, we are certain that results will improve. With less investment and infrastructure, Malta achieved results, therefore we will now have a bigger platform and we believe in our athletes”.
NDSF chief executive, Ray Ellul, said that the budget recognises the Maltese athletes’ efforts in international competitions, adding that they deserve to be given the best opportunity to advance in competitions. “To achieve a better performance as a small country….we have a young sporting talent which we need to encourage”.
Parliamentary Secretary for Sports Clifton Grima stated that sport is an essential link and a priority in the Government’s work, adding that the Government wants to reach the stage where demand is not on whether to practise sport, but what sport to practice.
Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities, Alex Muscat, said that the Government is showing with proof that sport is at the heart of communities and that the road to 2023 will encourage various persons to start practising sport and that athletes will improve their performances.