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19970227_Lm55,000 contribution to MOC for technical preparation of athletes

    The government yesterday contributed Lm55,000 to the Malta Olympic Committee to upgrade the technical preparation of athletes, especially those taking part in the Games for European Small States in Iceland and the Mediterranean Games in Bari.
    The presentation of the sponsorship cheque was made yesterday morning by the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports, Culture and the Arts, Dr Joe Cilia, to the chairman of the Malta Olympic Committee, Magistrate Lino Farrugia Sacco.
    He also said that the Ministry of Education was conscious of the fact that there were 33 associations/ federations affiliated to the Malta Olympic Committee and all needed financial assisstance, though not all will be taking part in these Games.
    Dr Cilia said they had discussed the MOC's request for financial aid and had discussed it at length before coming to such a conclusion on the sum to be contributed.    
    He said the contribution was over and above the sum voted for sport.
    Dr Cilia said the needs and priorities of the associations and federations were well known to the Malta Olympic Committee and knew that they were well structured to see and monitor that these funds were used for these purposes.
    He appealed to the MOC to make good use of these funds and to keep him informed of the plans and technical programmes of each association of federation to whom the Malta Olympic Committee decides to distribute these funds.
    lots of financial assistance," he said.
    He said the MOC was aware of the support being given by Dr Cilia "even though we could not agree on everything".
    The magistrate said he was glad to announce that even the Geres Fitness Centre had offered an attractive sponsorship. They are providing the facilities for 100 athletes to train at their centre in preparation for these events.
    Gymnastics
    He also said that gymnastics provided the main problem as it was still a relatively new sport in Malta. It it one of the disciplines at the Small Nations Games in Iceland, and the MOC is hoping to send a token contingent to take part in this inaugural competition.
    "We wish to give gymnastics a push. We know we have not yet reached a certain level. We have set a special minimum qualifying standard in this discipline as we want to use the Iceland edition as a launching pad to make this sport more popular here," he said.
    The MOC is not yet in a position to state in which disciplines Malta will be taking part both in the Small Nations and the Mediterranean Games.
    "It is still early. Most probably it will be in April when we take the final decision," he said,  while giving an inkling that swimming, athletics and shooting are almost certain to be included given that some of the athletes have already reached the...
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