New complex at the Gozo Stadium inaugurated

Saturday, March 20, 2010, 14:28

Dressing Rooms as part of the new complex

On Sunday 14th March 2010 the Gozo Football Association held the ceremony for the official inauguration of a new complex at the Gozo Stadium.  This complex consists of fourdressing rooms for the teams, two dressing rooms for referees and a large garage for the storage of machinery.  The ceremony also included the inauguration of other facilities which consists of new seats for the spectators, toilets and genral embellishment of the Gozo Stadium.

The activity started with a speech by the General Secretary of the Gozo Football Association Mr. Joe Bajada.  Mr. Bajada delivered a historical account of the Silver Jubilee Ground which became known as the Gozo Stadium in 1995 when the surface of the pitch was changed to natural turf.

The speech was followed by the message from the President of the Gozo Football Association Mr. Alvin Grech.  Mr. Grech stated that the first objective of the administration of the association is to upgrade and improve the facilities of the Gozo Stadium.  The President said that the inauguration of the complex is just the first phase of an ambitious project.  The next improvement will see the installation of a five-a-side pitch with artificial turf, the surfacing of the parking area with hot asphalt and the reconstruction of the VIP Area and the Press Area.  Mr. Grech stated that the improvement are aiming to make the Gozo Stadium accessible to all and the facilities will provide reserved areas for persons with special needs so that they can  find it easier to follow the football matches.  The President said that the projects carried out so far and the plans for further improvement are made possible through the contributions and support of various entities.  He expressed gratitude to the Minister for Gozo Hon. Giovanna Debono, the Minister for Finance Hon. Tonio Fenech for the contribution from the Good Causes Fund, the President of the Malta Football Association Dr. Joe Mifsud for his indispensable and enormous support, the Chairman of the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport Mr. Bernard Vassallo for his availability to the association, and also to the various companies who support the Gozo Football Association through sponsors.  The President concluded his address with an appeal to the users of these facilities so that they make sure that these are not vandalised and kept in good condition.

Inauguration of the Complex

Mr. Bernard Vassallo, the Chairman of the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport also delivered a speech for this occasion.  He said that he was representing the Parliamentary Secretary Hon. Clyde Puli who could not attend for the ceremony.  Mr. Vassallo praised the high standard of the complex and said that it was a great pleasure for the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport to contribute for this project because through these facilities the sports potential in our country will improve.  He said that this Stadium will be the main venue of an international event in the next few months when the VIVA World Cup will be organised.  The international tournament is attracting more sports tourism to the country and thus resulting in a contribution to the economy of the islands.  Mr. Vassallo said that a specific fund of €100,000 has been established to for sports tourism activities and so far twenty-two sports association gained from this initiative.  A study about the effect of this initiative indicated that the grants rendered into €1.2 million contribution towards the national economy.  For the current year, the special fund allocated €50,000 specifically for sports tourism in Gozo.  This initiative will continue to help the improvement of the sport profile on the island.  Mr. Vassallo concludes his speech by praising the association for the project and encouraged the administration to continue with the other projects for the benefit of the sport in Gozo.

Another speech for the occasion was delivered by Dr. Joe Mifsud, the President of the Malta Football Association.  He said that this inauguration is taking place few months after the inauguration of other sports facilities at the Sannat Ground.  He reflected on the history of the Stadium described at the opening of the ceremony, where a field has been transformed into a Stadium which is now being upgrade with the new facilities.  He expressed his pleasure that this project was made possible with the contribution of various people who have a common objective.  The President said that the creation of similar projects help youngsters to live in an honest way and to become good citizens.  The fund of €4.5 million established by the Malta Football Association, which are partly provided by the association and partly by UEFA, was also used for projects in Gozo to upgrade the infrastructure.  Dr. Mifsud stated that the Gozo Stadium now has reached the necessary standard to host international matches and announced that some matches from the next UEFA U/21 competition will be played in Gozo.  Dr. Mifsud concluded by thanking the Ministers present and the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport for the collective effort in the implementation of this project.

Minister Tonio Fenech said that he was delighted t be in this ceremony which inaugurates another sports project in Gozo.  In this case it was a project related to football which attracts a large number of youngsters who can contribute in our society.  Minister Fenech said that the government does not see sports just as a discipline but a sector which contributes to improve the quality of life for people within the vision for our country for 2015 aiming for a quality life to the society.  He said that the sports facilities are very important to reach this goal.  It is for this reasons that he is proud to see that this ambitious project has been completed with the collaborations of different entities.  He referred to the proposal put forward by Parliamentary Secretary Clyde Puli together with the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport to set up incentives for sports associations to promote sports tourism to our islands.  He said that this financial aid will not only help the sports associations but will also lead to the upgrading of the sports facilities so that Gozo may attract more quality tourism.

The last message was delivered by the Minister for Gozo Hon. Giovanna Debono.  She very pleased to be present in this particular sports activity which contributes to a better quality of life for the citizens.  This concept is also on the agendas for Eco Gozo.  The Minister added that the efforts for sports facilities in Gozo have been continuous.  She referred to the building of the Gozo Complex and the plans for an indoor pool adjacent to the same complex.  All this effort indicates that all the sports disciplines are given adequate attention.  Currently a process of site identification is in progress to find an adequate site for up-sailing.  The Minister said that the history of the Stadium shows the progress registered along the years and that this is not the end of a process but a step towards further improvement.  The Ministry for Gozo will continue to support and help the association in the other projects for sports facilities.  The government has a duty to continue with the support in the sports sector because this will result in the improvement of the quality of life of the citizens.  The Minister concluded by expressing gratitude to all those who worked together in synergy so that this project was completed.  She also wished that the association will continue with the good works for further improvement of the sports in Gozo.

At the end of the speeches the Minister Giovanna Debono, Minister Tonio Fenech, Dr. Joe Mifsud, Mr. Bernard Vassallo and Mr. Alvin Grech unveiled the commemorative inscription for the occasion.  Rev. Can. Julian Refalo Rapa, who was an ex-player and coach for a number of years in Gozo, blessed the new facilities.

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