€3.5m sports complex in Kirkop inaugurated

Saturday, May 19, 2012, 12:38

Photo - Clifton Fenech - DOI

by Keith Micallef – The Malta Independent

A new state-of-the-art multi-purpose sports complex in Kirkop which cost more than €3.5 million to build was inaugurated yesterday by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. This new facility includes three separate multi-purpose halls with a total area of 1,900 square metres and a shooting simulator.

The complex will also cater for swimming with an adjacent portable pool which will be set up soon. As from next September this complex will host the new sports college, which was announced in the last budget speech.

During the opening ceremony, William Chetcuti, who at 27 already boasts an accomplished career as a sport shooter, announced he was leaving his post in the Kunsill Malti gћall-iSport to join a new section in the Armed Forces of Malta which will cater for promising athletes.

Dr Gonzi later explained that the idea was first floated by Mr Chetcuti himself some years ago when he remarked that some of his competitors from abroad were benefiting from such an agreement, and he was at a disadvantage. Dr Gonzi added that this will permit promising athletes to dedicate up to 40 hours a week to practise their discipline, while enhancing Malta’s chances to do well on the international sporting scene.

The Kirkop sports complex is not only intended to cater for students at the St Benedict College but also for sports associations who will be offered its facilities after school hours. At the same time residents of the area are being encouraged to come forward and participate in various free activities that start from early morning, like the walking and jogging club which so far has already attracted the interest of 300 persons.

The parliamentary secretary for sport, Clyde Puli remarked that more facilities are in the pipeline, and announced that planning applications have been submitted to MEPA for a new sports complex adjacent to the St Ignatius College in Tal-Ħandaq, limits of Qormi. In his address he gave a brief overview of the various facilities built in recent years, including 33 football pitches, with another 19 which are at the planning stage. Mr Puli said that the government is committed to foster a sporting mentality and is encouraging more people to be active throughout their lives. One such initiative is the opening of four outdoor gyms, one of which is situated in the Selmun family park.

At the end of the ceremony, the Prime Minister toured the facilities and followed closely the hive of activity going on, with people of all ages being involved in some kind of sport.

As part of the activities to mark the official opening, tomorrow the public will be invited to visit this complex and use some of its facilities, including the shooting simulator, which is of great help not only for sport shooting enthusiasts in general but also for William Chetcuti in his final preparations for this summer’s London Olympics.


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