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19990710_Three judokas for European Youth Olympic Days

    The next responsibility for Envic Galea, vice president of the European Judo Union, after supervising the organisation of the judo events in Liechtenstein during the Games of the Small States of Europe. will be the serve as the international delegate responsible for the control of the judo events in the European Youth Olympic Days. which will be organised in Esbjerg, Denmark, next week.
    Forty-seven European countries will be taking part in judo and this sport is expected to be again one of the most popular in the Games. These Games, organised by the European Olympic Committees under the auspices of  the international Olympic Committee are organised every two years. Every sport has its own age group. 
    In judo the age group is 15 and 16 years. This year 11 sports disciplines (athletics, badminton, cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming, tennis, basketball, football, handball and volleyball) will be organised. Over 2,500 athletes and officials will be meeting in the Danish fishing village of Esbjerg to celebrate this European youth sports festival.
    In the last edition in Lisbon, Maltese judokas placed a credible ninth when Alexia Mallia, after eliminating previous opposition, lost the opportunity to enter the semi-finals, losing to the French competitor in the last few seconds after dominating the bout.
    This placing is the best placing for Malta in all EYOD editions. In this edition, Katya Galea Daniela Casha and Fabrizio Ellul, will be representing Malta in the -44, -52, -55 kilogram categories, accompanied by the Russian coach Sergei Teiluk.
    These very young judokas have just returned from Ostia, Italy, where they have attended a 10-day training stage together with the Italian Team and the Judo College Students.
    This training stage was partly financed by the MJA Maltacom sponsorship. The MJA is happy that the Malta Olympic Committee is giving a lot of importance to the youth sector.
    After the poor results in the GSSE in Liechtenstein, the associations have been informed that no financing will be considered unless the youth sector is healthy. Every federation knows that development depends on funds and no funds were previously dedicated to this sector. 
    In face the MJA could not utilise any of the funds for preparation for these games, even though the EYOD from part of the programme of the MOC. During the policy council meeting of the MOC, these Games were listed together with other games such as the GSSE, Mediterranean and Olympic Games. While funds were voted for preparation for the games of the senior events, no funds were 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 the MOC Sports Director, Pippo Psaila.
    The MJA has always given priority to the youth sector as it has been said, a lot of money was invested in the preparation of the pool of youths that were to be selected for the EYOD. 
    Preparation started two years ago and the four athletes who qualified were to undergo a final selection in Rome to select two girls and one boy.
    Unfortunately, one boy had to be dropped because of school examination difficulties. The disqualification of this young Judoka, meant that the selection was automatic.
    Envic Galea responsibilities within the European Judo Union are Youth the Small Nations and the Medical Commission which has within it judo for the Handicapped.
    On his return from Denmark, he will go to Rome to organise the third European youth Seminar. In this seminar coaches from all over Europe, meet to discuss and practice new systems and developments in the field of youth Judo.
    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 cost the MJA more than half the yearly sponsorship,  it considers it as a worthwhile investment as youth is the future of any activity. 
    On Thursday 15 July, the MJA starts its popular summer judo classes.
    These lessons will be held every Tuesday and Thursday between 5.30 and 7pm at Pembroke. Besides judo lessons, other social and educational activities will be organised. More information can be obtained from Vicky Licari on tel 319944