The Malta Independent 24 April 2019, Wednesday

Birzebbuga Aquatic Sports Club

Malta Independent Sunday, 5 August 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

From Ms. S. Bonnici

I read with interest Mr Caruana’s reply to a previous letter I wrote with reference to the Birzebbuga Aquatic Sports Club.

Mr Caruana wrote that when he was appointed to chair a steering committee to help revamp the club he was in “the final stages of closing two deals” which would have brought a sum of money to the club. We all know that a deal is never closed until you have the money is in your hands. If Mr Caruana was ever interested in the pitch when it was functioning he should know that the pitch was cleaned many times, and that the Lm10,000 he would have brought for cleaning the pitch would have been money down the drain. The “cleaning” always lasted one year, and that was before the Freeport was built and before sand was put down in Birzebbuga bay. If the pitch had to be cleaned now, the money spent would be wasted, as it would need cleaning again in a year’s time. Apart from that, Mr Caruana probably failed to notice that all water polo games are played in fresh water. Does he really expect a team to be successful if they train in seawater and then play their games in fresh water? Does he know the difference between swimming in seawater and swimming in fresh water? He was so happy to ‘almost’ bring Lm20,000 for the club. So how should the committee feel since it managed to ‘really’ get an investment of Lm400,000 in the club!

A question I wish to ask Mr Caruana is, why the need for a steering committee in the first place? Was the club not suited to his purposes? Why didn’t he offer his services to the club as a committee member? We are all aware of how difficult it is to find people who are willing to sacrifice their time for the common good without receiving any remuneration in return. If Mr Caruana had water sports and our children at heart, why didn’t he channel the sponsorship to the club?

With regard to the Lm2 membership fee, I can tell Mr Caruana that I too received the renewal notice and obviously paid my membership straight away. Mr Caruana seemed unaware that the committee is in the process of giving us a real water polo club and needs our support. Unlike Mr Caruana, I fully understand why access to the pitch has been closed. As it seems that all MEPA permits have been issued for work to proceed on the new project, it is obvious that at the moment the pitch is now a building site, which by law has to be closed for safety reasons. Had it not been closed Mr Caruana would most probably have written about the danger the committee was putting everyone in!

I also did not mind paying my Lm2 membership fee because I am one of the Birzebbuga residents who sends her children to the summer school the committee has organised. As I am not on the committee I would not know anything about money spent to organise the summer school. All I know is that the fee was a very reasonable one, bearing in mind that the committee had to organise transport to and from the National Pool. So I imagine that the club is probably partly sponsoring our children’s classes. The committee is obviously keeping in mind that our children are the Birzebbuga Water Polo Club team of the future and that they are doing a good investment.

Ultimately, Mr Caruana wrote, “we are only against a kiosk to be built above street level”. Does this mean that all his protests against the new project are because he will lose just a tiny bit of that ‘marvellous’ view of the Freeport terminal? Should Birzebbuga residents not have a new water polo club like other clubs have because Mr Caruana will not be able to fully see the Freeport terminal because of the kiosk? If his crusade is against the kiosk, why is he trying to destroy the club by claiming all sorts of illegalities and conspiracies between the club, MEPA, the Malta Sports Council, the ASA and the leading political parties?

There are so many problems in Birzebbuga a real Birzebbuga resident should protest about. What about the hazard of the Enemalta Depot two blocks away from your property? What about the bunkering ships anchored in the middle of Saint George’s Bay? The gas station in Qajjenza, which like the Enemalta Depot, we had been promised, were supposed to move from the locality years ago but are still exactly were they have always been? Maybe you could protest against the noise all night from the Freeport, the view of which you so much enjoy. And what about the litter left behind by the hundreds of people who have a bar-b-q on the beach every Friday and Saturday? What about the parking problems for Birzebbuga residents every year, summer after summer?

Find something one should really protest against instead of a kiosk that might partially obstruct your “incredible” view of the Freeport terminal and let our children have a real water polo club!

S. Bonnici


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