Special Olympics Malta shares its success with local authorities

Saturday, August 6, 2011, 20:22

The 38 athlete-strong  team from Special Olympics Malta met the Prime Minister, the Minister for Education and the Leader of the Opposition during three seperate meetings, on their return from the successful participation in the World Games held recently in Greece. The event brought together 7,500 athletes from 185 nations, with the Maltese team participating in athletics, bowling, swimming, gymnastics, bocce and football.

The athletes were given a warm welcome by the Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Minister Dolores Cristina and Leader of the Opposition Joseph Muscat who congratulated them on their efforts and their achievements, saying the team has made Malta proud with their achievements.  The team has brought back a total of 46 medals – 15 gold, 17 silver and 14 bronze.  The youngest athlete at the World Games, gymnast Anne Marie Bugeja, clinched five medals, two of which gold.

The team was highly supported by the Vodafone Malta Foundation who has backed the Special Olympics Malta for the past six years. “We have always believed in Special Olympics Malta and its athletes, hence our continuous support not only as Vodafone Malta Foundation but also as Vodafone Malta. We approved special leave to three of our team members who helped out the athletes during their adventure in Greece,” said Martin Gregory, Head of Human Resources at Vodafone Malta.

The athletes were ecstatic with the warm welcome they were given by the highest authorities of the country.  “We are still over the moon about the fantastic results,” said Anna Calleja, Special Olympics Malta National Director, “It was great to see our athletes perform to their highest abilities and achieve the outstanding recognition they deserve. The level of competition was very high and several Maltese athletes achieved their personal best times during the Games. We thank the public for its constant support both home and away.  Our thanks also goes to the Vodafone Malta Foundation for believing in what we do and for extending its generous support including granting special leave to three employees who accompanied us in our experience.” 

Special Olympics Malta is appealing for qualified coaches willing to volunteer some of their time to help train more athletes.  Those interested may call Anna Calleja or Elaine Bonnici on 99891687or 99858224.  Special Olympics Malta also thanks the Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport, The Good Causes Fund, The Voices Foundation and Megaline for their support towards the participation in the World Games, and to the Spinach Fitness Centre for offering fitness programs to 8 of the participating athletes.

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