The Malta Independent 22 July 2024, Monday
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XIX Games of the Small States of Europe open in Malta today

Monday, 29 May 2023, 14:39 Last update: about 2 years ago

Over 1,300 athletes and officials have officially registered to be part of the XIX Games of the Small States of Europe, which started today.

On Friday, the Games Organising Committee welcomed the Chefs de Mission from all participating countries for the registration process. This 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.

Games Schedule

The first competitions started Monday morning, when Squash and Tennis singles preliminary competitions opened 9am at the Marsa Sports Club. In the afternoon, Basketball (5x5) will see Cyprus and Luxembourg set foot on court 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.

Four of the venues were not completed in time: the Gozo Aquatic Centre, the Cottonera indoor swimming complex, the new Pembroke Tennis centre and a new squash and weightlighting complex in Marsa. 

All schedules and results can be viewed on the Games website on www.gsse‐ malta2023.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,” Julian Pace Bonello, President, Maltese Olympic Committee, said.

Opening Ceremony

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 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 contribu‐ tion is immeasureable.”

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 In‐ ternational Airport and The Concept Stadium.

 

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

 

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