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19990710_Three Maltese judokas in EYOD in Denmark

    Envic Galea, vice president of the European Judo Union, will be the international delegate responsible for the control of judo events in the European Youth Olympic Days in Esbjerg, Denmark next week.
    Forty-seven from 50 Euro states will be contesting judo events which are expected to be again among the most popular in the Games.
    These Games, under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, are organised every two years. 
    Mr Galea's responsibilities within the European Judo Union are Youth Sector, the Small Nations and the Medical Commission which incorporates judo for the disabled. 
    On his return from Denmark, Mr Galea will go to Rome to organise the third European Youth Seminar. Here coaches from all over Europe, meet to discuss and practise new systems and developments. This seminar has become so popular that coaches from Africa and Asia have asked to attend. The MJA is trying to finance the attendance of 13 of its youth coaches. 
    Although this will approximately cost the MJA more than half its yearly sponsorship,  the association deems it as a fruitful investment as youth is the future of any activity. 
    Every EYOD sport has its own age group. In judo the age bracket is 15-16. This year 11 disciplines (athletics, badminton, cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming, tennis, basketball, football, handball and volleyball) will be contested. In all 2,500 athletes and officials will be involved.
    In the last edition in Lisbon, Alexia Mallia did well for Malta. After making her way through the early rounds, she lost the opportunity to enter the semi-finals losing to a French judoka in the last few seconds. Mallia was ninth and this is considered the best placing  for Malta in all EYOD editions. 
    Katya Galea, Daniela Casha and Fabrizio Ellul will be representing Malta in Esbjerg. They will be accompanied by coach Sergei Teliouk.
    These promising judokas have just returned from Rome where they attended a 10-day training stage. This stage was partly financed by the MJA Maltacom sopnsorship.
    The Malta Olympic Committee is aware that without a proper investment in the youth sector, no long-term progress can be registered.
    Perhaps the involvement of the MOC Sports Director in this sector, as has already been proposed, is advisable. So far, were it not for the General Secretary Joe Cassar, very little would have been done.
    However, the general secretary has a lot of other administration problems to deal with. It is not even his duty to take care of this section.
    The re-organisation of the MOC in 1994 appointed a director for youths. However, the new administration, elected in December 1996, did not give this sector due importance.
    It seems that only after analysing the results of the Liechtenstein Games, did the MOC discover the importance of youth sections and now the national federations have been informed that no financing will be considered unless the same federations have a healthy youth policy.
    Development depends of funds even though no funds were previously dedicated to youth sector. In face, the MJA could not utilise any of the MOC funds for its youth preparation, even though the EYOD forms part of the MOC programme.
    While financial backing was voted for preparation to the senior events, no funds were for forthcoming for the youth activity preparation. The MJA could only make use of the Russian clinic and the MOC medical assistance after discussing the matter with Sports Director Pippo Psaila. 
    The MJA, on the other hand, has always given priority to the youth sector. Considerable amounts of money were invested in the preparation of the pool of youth that were to be selected for the EYOD.
    Preparation started two years ago and a final selection process was held in Rome to select two girls and one boy. Unfortunately, one judoka had to be dropped and that meant that the selection was automatic.
    Next Thursday, the MJA starts its Summer Judo Class. These lessons will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 5.30 and 7 p.m. at Pembroke. Besides the judo lessons other social and educational activities will be organised. One may obtain more details by phoning 319944