In a bid to boost sports that are not part of the Sports programme during the forthcoming Games of the Small States of Europe in 2023, the Maltese Olympic Committee has taken the initiative to host the inaugual edition of the Malta Invitational Games.
These Games, which will take place from Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th October, follow the now defunct Friendship Games which were previously organised by the Maltese Olympic Committee and CONI Sicilia.
Through these Games, Malta is set to welcome approximately 180 athletes representing 10 countries, namely Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Luxembourg, Montenegro, San Marino and Malta.
This year’s sports portfolio includes bowling, taekwondo and triathlon.
Bowling events – Singles, Doubles, Team x4) will take place at the Eden Super Bowl in St. Julian’s. Taekwondo events including Flyweight, Featherweight, Welterweight and Heavyweight, have been given ranking status by World Taekwondo and will be hosted at the Qawra Palace Hotel, whilst triathlon events, held on Sprint Distances will consist of a Duathlon, Aquathlon and Triathlon will take place in three locations – Hal-Far, Pretty Bay Birżebbugia and Salina Bay, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq respectively.
Commenting on the event, MOC President Julian Pace Bonello expressed his belief that these Games will provide local athletes with the right. platform to gauge their level. “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought havoc not least in sport. This event will certainly help our athletes see where they stand when competing against athletes from other Small States” remarked Pace Bonello.
Whilst the event is still in its infancy, Kevin Azzopardi, MOC Secretary General is confident that more will follow this event. Reiterating the uncertainty that the pandemic has caused, for which some countries are still recovering from its overall effects, “The response we have received from other small countries is very encouraging and we are confident that this event may continue to grow and expand to include other sports too” added Azzopardi.
The Maltese Olympic Committee would like to thank the Malta Bowling Association, the Malta Taekwondo Association and the Malta Triathlon Federation for their assistance in all the technical and logistical preparations.
The Schedule of Events can be viewed on the Maltese Olympic Committee website – https://nocmalta.org/games/invitational-games/
The sporting public is urged to lend its support to all local athletes.