The Birżebbuġa sailing club has just started using two new outboard motors for the dinghies they use in training sessions for children and youths. The outboard motors, costing 10,000 euro, have been donated by Transport Malta and by the supplier of these engines.
Over 50 boys and girls spent this summer learning the rudiments of sailing with the Birżebbuġa club, one of the oldest sailing clubs in the Maltese Islands.
The Club had been set up in Kalafrana in 1972, before the advent of the Freeport. It then transferred to its present location in Birżebbuġa.
Apart from the children, a number of adults attend and take part in sailing competitions, both locally and abroad. During the summer months the club organises courses for newcomers to this sport.
The club welcomed the donation of the two dinghy outboards, costing 5,000 euro each, by Transport Malta jointly with the local supplier. Club Commodore Joseph Briffa stated that the outboards will help the club to improve safety in training, as the coaches can use the dinghies in weather which they would not have risked before.
“These dinghies are used so that the coaches can go out with the members and assist them during training, by giving them the necessary instructions. One obviously cannot go out on an rhib, as we call it, knowing it can stall during a training session. The weather can be rough, or not so rough, so the motor gives us peace of mind.”
Mr Briffa added that as in other sports, even in sailing, safety is of paramount importance.
“You can’t risk going into the water with, for example, a rope which you know may not last the course. This is not acceptable. Safety is number 1, 2 and 3”.
Transport Malta Chairman Joseph Bugeja stated that Transport Malta is a firm believer in such initiatives, placing at the forefront social responsibility towards entities working within communities.
Transport Minister Ian Borg added that the maritime sector is a main pillar of the economy, and had words of praise for the efforts of the Birżebbuġa club which trains children and youths to be tomorrow’s seamen. Dr Borg reiterated Government’s commitment to increase opportunities in the maritime industry.