No proper facilities for Athleta Basketball Club

Friday, November 5, 2010, 11:30

Athleta Basketball Club is synonymous with the game of Basketball in Malta having been the very first club to practise the game in 1962 even before the Malta Basketball Association of whom we are founder members was set up in 1964. Therefore the club will achieve a huge milestone in 2012 when it will be celebrating 50 years of its existence.

Over the last 25 years or so the club has always been at the top fighting for all the honours and competitions organised by the MBA. During this period other clubs have had their ups and downs but Athleta have been consistently present throughout these years challenging and winning honours.

Apart from being the first Basketball Club in Malta the Club is also proud of the fact that in the mid-80s we were also the first club to participate in a European (Korac Cup) Competition against the French team of Avignon. Unfortunately the level of the local game as well as the costs involved generally proves prohibitive for regular European participation. Here the Club can call on the local Association which has to shoulder some responsibility for the state of the game in Malta which should be more popular and attract better following.

In a Press Statement the Club said “We would like to see better and clearer player registration rules to avoid manipulation (the new foreign player rules are a clear example) and better support to the clubs to reduce the financial hardship that clubs have to endure”

The Club added “However we are not here to offer constructive criticism for the local game or the Association but to present our team for the current season 2010/2011. A team cannot be competitive without financial support therefore we would like to firstly introduce our main sponsor A to Z ELECTRONICS with its new IT & Electronics outlet in Pitkali Street, Attard (previously Compleet IS) here represented by Mr. Marvin Sammut who is supporting the Athleta venture and it’s senior man’s team for the 4th year running. Before introducing our new players, we would like to thank two of our past players and stalwarts of the team, who for different reasons have had to end their playing career.  We are referring to Julian Naudi, who had to abandon playing due to a serious injury and veteran Silvio Cassar. Their valuable contribution and dedication to the club over the years is very much appreciated”.

In our efforts to retain a competitive squad this season the Club added three new players namely the Schembri brothers Dirk & Steve from Luxol and Kristin Baldacchino who returned to his first love Athleta after only one season with Loyola. These measured additions have more than compensated for the loss of Julian and Silvio.

The statement siad “When one adds to these three Malta international players, the names of Michael Naudi our team captain, who in the recently instituted Basketball Awards was voted MOST VALAUBABLE PLAYER, BEST REBOUNDER and TOP SCORER, Addison Bonnici and Omar Said (all internationals), we can safely say that we are satisfied with our pre-season work having assembled a formidable squad which gives us high hopes for another successful season. We also have four promising youngsters in Clayton Calleja, Jonathan Zammit and Mike Giusti and Chris. Galea and the ever green 3-pointer specialist Etienne Bezzina, who unfortunately is unable to train regularly due to work commitments.

We would also like to mention our organised Nursery and its very healthy set-up which has ongoing programmes for children starting from 5 years old with squads for Mixed Under 8 and we then have teams for both males and females for the age groups Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 20. The Nursery is instrumental to the club as apart from giving our youngsters a sporting education keeping them away from unhealthy practises also provides the senior team with excellent players from time to time Michael Naudi being maybe the most successful example and Joe Galea our long serving and most successful coach being also a club product”.

Finally it was mentioned that pprobably the most negative aspect in the Club’s long history is that at present this Club does not have his own club house and that it depends on third party gym facilities for training for all categories which drains most of the financial resources. This is something that the hard working committee members are looking to rectify in the coming years.

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