Regatta fans still upset after U/18 event cancellation

Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 16:35

by Sandro Micallef

Disappointment still reigns amongst Regatta fans after it has been officially communicated that the traditional Regatta races for the Under 18 age category were not to be organized this year. There was special interest in the build up of this year’s event which was going to be organized like in previous years on two consecutive Sundays.

Unfortunately news broke out that the Ghaqda Regatta Nazzjonali was not granted the requested financial assistance from the KMS – Kunsill Malti ghall-Isport thus resulting in the cancellation of this event which has been organized on a yearly basis for the past 11 years.

Young Senglea rowers that would have participated in the U18 Regatta

Young Senglea rowers that would have participated in the U18 Regatta

The motive and official explanation for the KMS (which has taken over the organization of the Regatta races as from last September from the Malta Culture and Arts Council) was that according to them the financial assistance request made from the Ghaqda Regatta Nazzjonali was too expensive.

After further investigation made by this website it transpired that the KMS promised a grant of EUR1,200 for the two U/18 Regattas, a sum which theoretically seems attractive but when this website made some calculations we came out with the conclusion that the EUR1,200 offered by KMS was below the actual amount of expenses that would have been incurred. Such expenses include, the Police, Personnel from the Malta Maritime Authority, Ambulance, Renting of Judges boat, Trophies and the actual setting up and dismantling of the race course.  This would amount to approximately EUR1,500 for one race when the U/18 event has been traditionally organized on two different days.

Representatives from various Regatta Clubs who have read the KMS press release featured on this website on July 24th have called in and approached us personally, protesting heavily at the content of the statement of the Government’s Sports Authority. One Club official said “It is really strange that the KMS is saying that the it invests EUR75,000 for the Regatta races, I am aware that each Regatta costs only EUR15,000 approximately so I find it very awkward that their calculations have gone sky high” he commented.

It is really a pity that many young and up-coming rowers have not been given the opportunity to compete in  probably the only opportunity that they get to show off their talents in a whole year. The U/18 Regattas are usually organized to give exposure and promotion to the sport, but also to give the opportunity to young rowers to prove themselves that they are worth to be given a chance even in the official traditional Regattas of Freedom Day and Victory Day.

We at encourage both the KMS and the Ghaqda Regatta Nazzjonali to reach an agreement as soon as possible on all other pending issues that this website is aware of but not making public for the time being for the benefit of the Sports – Cultural activity.

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