Rowing: Four Maltese rowers participating in the 2017 World Games

Monday, July 17, 2017, 10:11

Four Maltese rowers; Jessica Borg Ghigo (Siġġiewi Rowing Club), Juan Farrugia (Marsamxett Regatta Club), Michelle Vella Wood (Siġġiewi Rowing Club) and Glenn Zammit (Birżebbuġa Regatta Club), who have qualified to participate in the 2017 World Games, met with Parliamentary Secretary for Youths, Sports and Voluntary Organisations Dr Clifton Grima.

Dr Clifton Grima welcomed the developments that are being made to make rowing in all its forms accessible to a wider section of the Maltese population including female athletes. “Malta with its natural harbours and unique seashore is an ideal location for sports such as rowing. The Government is committed to supporting present and future rowing activities which range from the traditional historical National Regatta to the National Indoor Rowing Championships. We intend to renew our commitment toward this sport which is embedded in our Maltese culture through the regatta. Our commitment and vision is to solidify the regatta’s place in Maltese sports since this has become a regular appointment for local sports. We encourage the setting up of new rowing clubs as these will bring new talent into the sport and help the regatta solidify its role as a truly national event.”

President of Malta Rowing Association (Għaqda Regatta Nazzjonali u Qdif Ieħor), Professor Joseph N Grima, said that he is delighted that the efforts being made by a good number of Maltese rowers to train in a more professional manner, is being rewarded though the qualification in these prestigious games. “Maltese rowers are realising that despite the obvious limited training resources that the Association and the Clubs have, there is the potential to make it amongst the best in the world. At present athletes are using their own personal funds to pay for professional training and coaching. With the infrastructural investments that have been promised by the present Government in the 2017 electoral manifesto, the work being made by the established Regatta Clubs, as well as with the setting up of new rowing clubs in the which will bring new blood into rowing, it is envisaged that rowing in all its forms will be making significant improvements in the coming years.”

The World Games are organised by the International World Games Association (IWGA) which is fully recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). These games are held every four years and represent the highest level international multi-sport event which brings together sport disciplines that are not currently included in the Olympic Games. The 2017 edition will be held in Wrocław Poland this July and will include American Football, Kickboxing (K1 rules), indoor rowing and Speedway as an invitation sports.

To be included in the World Games, a sport discipline must be widely spread in the world and the specific international sports federation must be a member of the IWGA. Only the best athletes or teams at international level may participate and these are selected the respective international sports federations.

In the case of Indoor Rowing, the Maltese athletes were selected by FISA, the World Rowing body through a very rigorous and complex qualification process based on rankings and times the athletes obtained over the 2017 season. There will be six individual indoor rowing races taking place (2000m Male/Female Open, 2000m Male/Female Light Weight and 500m Male/Female Open), each of which see some of the top twenty rowers in the world competing for the best times.

The participation of the Maltese rowers in the world games is being made possible through funding by the Malta Olympic Committee and FISA. The athletes are being coached by Ken Lake.

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