18 September 2014

Official Feature of the Maltese Olympic Committee

 - Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 00:00

Tomorrow is another important date on the MOC calendar of events. For the first time ever, athletes and officials from national sports associations affiliated with the Maltese Olympic Committee will have the opportunity to meet and greet Archbishop Mgr Paul Cremona.

The Merhba mill-iSportivi banner is to dominate the University Sports Hall at Tal-Qroqq. Upon arrival of athletes, officials and guests including Team Malta bound for the Monaco GSSE, pre-event entertainment will be provided .

The Archbishop will be met by MOC officials namely president Mr Justice Lino Farrugia Sacco, general secretary Joseph Cassar and director of sport and chef de mission for Monaco Pippo Psaila.

Following the celebration of Holy Mass, the MOC president will present the Archbishop with a memento for the occasion.

Furthermore, the announcement of Malta’s flag bearer for Monaco will be another highlight in this unique occasion.

The event will come to an end with a visit by the Archbishop to the MOC Headquarters.

Any athletes wishing to attend the gathering with Mgr Cremona are to contact the MOC offices on tel.: 2133-2801.

Hundreds of athletes benefit from SERC agreement with Maltese Olympic Committee

The Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Centre (SERC) housed at Saint James Hospital, Sliema has been the appointed Official Maltese Olympic Committee Medical Centre for the past four years.

Through this collaboration, hundreds of athletes have benefited from thousands of consultations and treatment sessions with the centre’s various specialists, which have ensured they get the best possible treatment for whatever ailment they had.

However, SERC serves not only the island’s top athletes but all those who suffer from musculoskeletal problems and in fact work with various amateur sport clubs and business concerns throughout the island.

Top specialists aided by state-of-the-art equipment all contribute to a rapid diagnosis and effective treatment of any problem.

With the introduction of the extremely popular Weight Management Programmes, SERC has also helped various athletes, and even more non-athletes, achieve their targeted weight and fitness goals in a medically-supervised environment.

SERC will be holding an Open Day on Saturday 26 May at Saint James Hospital, Sliema from 9am to 6pm where free advice and numerous offers will be made available. This event will be held contemporarily with the Childhood Obesity National Conference which will be housed at the adjacent Palazzo Capua. For more information, kindly contact Saint James Hospital, Sliema on tel.: 2133-5235.

Association News: Swimmers for Monaco 2007

Dr Michael Gialanze

Chairman of Swimming Board ASA

The 2007 Games of the Small States of Europe will, this year, be held between 4-9 June in the Principality of Monaco and once again, as in previous editions, our swimmers will be participating.

In the last edition of the games, which were held in Andorra in 2005, Malta won a gold medal in the 200m butterfly and a bronze medal in the female’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

This time we are looking forward to winning more medals. 1993 was the year that the Maltese swimmers won most medals – they won nine medals that year. This was done by preparing our swimmers by allowing them to participate in the previous games of 1989 and 1991. Swimming, unlike other sports, needs time to develop which is why it is important for our swimmers to participate in these games.

The swimming events are normally dominated by Iceland which has a very strong swimming squad. They have swimmers like Ornason and Svenson in the male category who are both European- and Olympic-level swimmers. Their female squad is also of a very high standard.

Swimming in general is one of the strongest disciplines in the Games of the Small States of Europe as many of the other countries like Cyprus, Luxemburg, San Marino and even Andorra have some outstanding individual swimmers.

The swimmers have been prepared for these games professionally by their coach Andy Colbourn. They have participated in various international meets abroad in places like Berlin and Luxemburg and also carried out training camps in both Rome and Luxemburg.

Most of the swimmers participated in the World Swimming Championships 2007 which were held recently in Melbourne. They also participated in the international meet which was held here in Malta a few weeks ago.

The swimmers recommended to the MOC for participation in these Games by coach Andy Colbourn and approved by the Swimming Board of the ASA are, for the males, Andrea Agius, Neil Agius, Adrian Buttigieg and Paul Herrera and, for the females, Angela Galea, Nicole Cremona, Davina Mangion, Talisa Pace and Madeleine Scerri. Today the swimmers look confident and are prepared to win more medals than they did in the last Small Nations Games in Andorra.

From the female squad who already did the required MQS set by the MOC, Angela Galea, who won the first-ever Small Nations Games gold medal in swimming for Malta, should once again be in the medal zone. Another youngster, 17-year-old, Australian-born swimmer Madeleine Scerri should also be on the podium as a medal winner in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle together with the 200m backstroke and the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Davina Mangion is continually improving and should do well in her events with a medal in the 4x200m relay. Talisa Pace is a very young, promising swimmer with a lot of talent; she is continually improving and will, together with Nicole Cremona, form part of the 4x200m relay team.

In the men’s category the competition and the standard of the Small Nations is very high. Our swimmers have already improved immensely and deserve to take part in these games, especially in the relay event where they start in fourth position.

In the men’s individual events, Neil Agius, who finished fourth in the 1,500m freestyle in the last Small Nations Games in Andorra, is very close to a medal. Andrea Agius, 17 years old, is a very talented swimmer with a national record in 100m breaststroke of 1min 10secs which is an excellent achievement and he is continually improving. Great improvement was also seen this year by both Paul Herrera and Adrian Buttigieg. The male squad is improving in every meet and should be given the opportunity to participate in such games.

It is important that, not only do we need to think and concentrate on these games but we must also look ahead to 2009. In my opinion, if these swimmers are given the encouragement they need, we might, in the near future, see medals won by the male swimmers.

Andy Colbourn is working very hard and continuously encourages our swimmers. Good luck to all the swimmers and hopefully all the hard work will prove worthwhile.

Athletes’ profiles

Ella Fleri Soler

Age: 14 years

Sport: Sailing

Discipline: Sailing, Optimist

Club: Malta Young Sailors’ Club (MYSC)

Started: MYSC, aged 10 years

Job: Student – Form 3


• Participation in all local events

• First place in BBSC spring regatta 2006

• First place in Gill Foundation day regatta 2007

• Currently first female and second overall Optimist sailor ranked in Malta

International Events:

• First Female cadet in Euromed 2005

• Fourth place in Dubai international regatta 2006

• Two silver medals in Island Games, Sicily, 2006

• First female and fifth place overall in Euromed, 2007

Thomas Zammit Tabona

Age: 13 years

Sport: Sailing

Discipline: Optimist

Club: Malta Young Sailors’ Club

Started: MYSC aged eight years

Job: Attending San Anton School


• Ranked first in the Optimist Cadet class at the end of 2005

• National Champion 2006

• Euromed Winner 2006

• Ranked first in the Optimist class at the end of 2006

Maya Podesta

Age: 23 years

Sport: Sailing

Discipline: Laser Radial

Club: Malta Young Sailors’ Club and Royal Malta Yacht Club

Started: Sailing in 1995 aged 12 years, Laser Dinghy Sailing in 2002

Job: Graduated as a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery last year; working in St Luke’s Hospital

Personal Bests:

• Ninth place in a race at Semaine Olympique Francaise 2007 (Grade 1 event)

• First in a race at Ramla Bay Regatta 2006


• Part of Crew on Elusive – First Maltese boat, second in class and fourth overall in Rolex Middle Sea Race 2004, second Maltese boat, first in class, fourth overall in 2006

• Top Maltese female Laser Radial Sailor 2006


Has taken part in numerous high-class international sailing events including:

• Rolex Middle Sea Race (Malta) 2001-2-3-4-5-6

• IMS Offshore World Championships 2001 (Valencia), 2002 (Capri)

• Copa del Rey (Palma de Mallorca) 2001

• IMS European Championship (Punta Ala ITA) 2002

• Roma Per Tutti (Italy) 2002, 2004

• Euromed Championship 2004-5-6

• Skandia Cowes Week (Isle of Wight) 2005

• Rolex Fastnet Race (UK) 2005

• Rolex Swan Cup (Porto Cervo) 2006

• Les Voiles de St Tropez (France) 2006

• Barcelona Olympic Sailing Week (Spain) 2006, 2007

• Princessa Sofia Trophy (Palma de Mallorca) 2007

• Semaine Olympique Francaise (Hyeres) 2007

• Representative for Malta at the Olympic Youth Camp in Sydney 2000

MIA Olympic Special – What’s On

On Thursday on TVM at 5pm, Friday on E22 at 9pm (RPT), Sunday on E22 at 10am (RPT) and Monday on E22 at 2.30pm (RPT), the programme will feature the following:

GSSE News – Mr Justice Lino Farrugia Sacco (MOC President)

A full-scale interview with the Maltese Olympic Committee President, Justice Lino Farrugia Sacco will feature in this programme where we can get to know more on the forthcoming GSSE which are a few days away.

Featured Event – Open and Veterans Athletics Championships

The MAAA held another Open and Veterans Athletics Championships at the Marsa grounds.

Athlete Good Causes

Athletes Darren Gilford, Mario Bonello and Nicolai Portelli visited the St Joseph Home in Sta Venera on 30 April as part of the Good Causes campaign organised by the Maltese Olympic Committee. The three athletes, all on the MOC Elite Scheme, visited the home to participate in the sports activities that were organised as part of the celebrations of the feast of St Joseph the worker.

Highlight events

The Maltese Olympic Committee announced details of the forthcoming Archbishop’s meeting with Team Malta tomorrow at 8pm.

Furthermore, the MOC announced the contingent of athletes and officials taking part in the 12th edition of the Games of the Small States of Europe – Monaco at another press conference yesterday. Find out more and who forms part of Team Malta.

The schedule is available every week on and on The Malta Independent every Tuesday. Produced in collaboration with E22.

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