The Maltese Olympic Committee (MOC) today announced the names of Team Malta who will be representing XIX Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) on its home turf. Starting on the 29th of May, Malta will be represented by a mix of highly experienced medal winners to younger athletes making their debut at the GSSE.
Announcing the Maltese squad, MOC Director of Sport Charlene Attard, outlined the technical preparation and selection process which has been ongoing for the past months to ensure that the athletes forming part of team Malta are in excellent form. This was confirmed by the highly positive results registered by selected athletes in various international competitions.
“Athletes who were vying for a place on Team Malta have worked very hard to achieve this much-awaited call. Their preparation has been meticulous and well planned and we look forward to seeing the results of their hard work in the coming weeks” remarked Attard.
Amongst the athletes who donning the Maltese kit, at the end of the month, are Commonwealth Games, Mediterranean Games, and European Youth Olympic Festival medal winners Katryna Esposito (Judo), Elaine Genovese and Francesca Curmi (Tennis), and Matthew Galea Soler (Athletics) respectively. Joining them are several past GSSE medal winners who are vying to add their medal tally on home turf.
The Maltese Olympic Committee announced that for the first time, Malta will be adopting the concept of a Team Captain. The purpose of this role is for the captain to inspire and lead as well as support members of the contingent when necessary. This honour has been bestowed upon Olympian Eleanor Bezzina (Shooting), who has a notable and respectable sporting CV to her name. This will be her fifth Games of the Small States participation.
Chef de Mission for these Games, Paul Sultana explained the careful planning and coordination carried out by the Local Organisation Committee who has been working tirelessly to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As is expected, the organisation of an event of this magnitude is not without its challenges, but Chef de Mission Paul Sultana explained that Malta is well prepared to warmly welcome over 1000 athletes and officials in the next two weeks.
“As the host country, Malta is expected to be buzzing with activity as athletes, officials, and spectators from across Europe converge on the island for these Games, which will provide Malta with the opportunity to showcase its hospitality, culture, and natural beauty to our European friends.” – Paul Sultana, Chef de Mission
Concluding the Press Conference was MOC President Julian Pace Bonello who reiterated the responsibility athletes have to not only perform well but be the best ambassadors Malta could have by embracing the principles of sportsmanship and fair play. The Games will be a culmination of the hard work they, together with their coaches and the Maltese Olympic Committee have put in over the past months.
Addressing the athletes, present, he remarked that “Being chosen to wear the Team Malta kit is an honour that our athletes have worked hard for. All called up athletes deserve to be part of this team. Being the best you can be in your respective sport is a given, but as you step into your sporting arena, your performance under the spotlight, never forget that you are ambassadors who will be inspiring Malta’s future athletes. Your performance and behaviour are part of the positive lasting legacy we want these Games to have on Malta” concluded Julian Pace Bonello, MOC President.
He appealed to the public to show their support by filling up the various venues hosting the week-long sporting bonanza. The MOC President went on to express his gratitude to the Local Organising Committee and the Maltese Olympic Committee for their hard work and commitment to deliver the best Games ever. He went on to thank the sponsors who had believed in these Games and who provided the necessary support for these Games to be of the highest level.
Claire Azzopardi, Luke Bezzina, Lisa Bezzina, Nikolai Bonello, Rosalie Borg, Mireya Bugeja, Steve Camilleri, Luke Camilleri, Mireya Cassar, Dillon Cassar, Antonella Chouhal, Joelle Cortis, Alessia Cristina, Peppijna Dalli, Jean Paul Debono, Gaetano Di Franco, Luke Farrugia, Matthew Galea Soler, Ian Paul Grech, Beppe Grillo, Sana Grillo, Jordan Gusman, Armani James, Dario Mangion, Claire McNamara, Gina McNamara, Lloyd Mhiripiri, Jared Micallef, Benjamin Micallef, Josepha Micallef , Luke Micallef Perconte, Bradley Mifsud, Rachela Pace, Thea Parnis Coleiro, Graham Pellegrini, Janet Richard, Daniel Saliba, RebeccaSare’, Carla Scicluna, Martha Spiteri, SimonSpiteri, Kay Testa, Charlotte Wingfield, Jeremy Zammit
Kris Bartolo, Isaac Bezzina, Francesca Catania, Kirsty Cauchi, Katryna Esposito, Sadek Khalaf, Valerian Ogbaidze, James Zahra
Lacey Aquilina, Shaun Aquilina, Samantha Axisa, Jacob Azzopardi, Isaac Azzopardi, Aly Badawy, Nicolai Bartolo, Julia Borg, Kurt Borg, Katrina Briffa, Laidon Buhagiar, Mia Busuttil, Matthew Cachia Debono, Ryder Croft, Ella Demicoli, Alexandr Denisiuc, Emily Fenech, Matthew Flores, Crispin Gauci Peresso, Marianne Heller, Jake Mallia, Gary Mercieca, Lara Merten, Katrina Micallef, Jonas Micallef, Michela Mifsud , Gregory Mifsud Orlando, Michela Mizzi, Aleksandra Nagrudnaia, Maria Nagrudnaya, Dimitrios Pipi – Vertsonis, Maya Podesta, Leonardo Procopio, Luke Rausi, Matthias Spiteri, Tomek Vaccaro, Timmy Vassallo, Benjamin Vassallo, Sophie Villette, Jean Zahra
Marcello Attard, Gianluca Azzopardi Spiteri, Eleanor Bezzina, Mariah Busuttil, William Chetcuti, Clive Farrugia, James Galea, Mikela Galea, Matthew Grech, Nico Sciberras, William Vella.
Bradley Deguara Hindle, Annabelle Diamantino, Niall Engerer, Amke Fischer, Dean Gera, Kresten Hougaard, Johanna Rizzo, Mattea Saliba, Julian Scerri, Duncan Stahl, Colette Sultana, Lijana Sultana, Kijan Sultana, Daniel Zammit-Lewis.
Mya Azzopardi, Victoria Balderacchi, Georgia Bohl, Dylan Cachia, Nathan Cachia, Sarah Demicoli, Francesca Falzon Young, Matthew Galea, Maya Galea, Sasha Gatt, Andrea Mallia, Simon Mallia, Nathan McCleve, Amy Micallef, Nirvana Micallef, Kyle Micallef, Michela Portelli, Rudi Spiteri, Michael Stafrace, Raoul Stafrace, Sean Wareing, Thomas Wareing, Thomas Woods.
Daniel Bajada, Anthea Cutajar, Gabriel Grixti, Camella Iacob, Viktoria Lucenkova, Dmitrij Prokopcov, Renata Strbikova, Felix Wetzel,
Matthew Asciak, Francesca Curmi, Alex DeGabriele, Liam Delicata, Elaine Genovese, Emma Montebello, Matija Pecotic, Helen Pellicano.
For the two team sports, Basketball and Rugby 7s, a provisional squad has been selected, with the final squads being announced closer to the Games.
The XIX Games of the Small States of Europe are being supported by SportMalta, NDSF, Welbee’s Supermarket, National Lottery, MITA, General Soft Drinks, Visit Malta, European Olympic Committees, Go, Enemed, BOV, Transport Malta, Malta International Airport and The Concept Stadium.