7 13 February 2001
Malta Olympic Committee wants lottery money for sport
By Ray Abdilla
The idea discussed a few years back, that of starting off a legal, organised pools system, similar to that of horseracing should be given the go ahead, according to the Malta Olympic Committee.
The MOC wants the Government to implement the idea of a pools system, while also helping sports through the Super 5 lottery.
Sponsorships from the private sector are going into big sport such as football and waterpolo, while the Malta Olympic Committee, which was elected a few months ago, feels annoyed that it only gets a few thousand Liri from the government.
Malta is not faring particularly well in the international sphere of sport and is not even pushing for success at the Small Nations Games. Countries such as Iceland, Luxembourg and Cyprus are improving all the time and could soon stop their participation at the Small Nations Games due to the fact that they are winning too many medals.
The Malta Olympic Committee recently launched its Training for Excellence - the Elite Programme' during a meeting at its headquarters in Tal-Qroqq with the 10 GSSE 2001 federations held yesterday evening.
The Elite Programme was among various topics discussed with federation officials and journalists.
MOC Director of Sport Pippo Psaila believes the programme, which will see Malta's top performers receiving remuneration totalling more than Lm2,000 between February and May, is an experiment which is likely to succeed.
Helping Malta's governing body of sport in its quest to improve the performances of the country's best athletes will be Australian Senior Sports Consultant Kevin Thompson.
Mr Thompson worked at the Australian Institute of Sport between 1994 and 2000 and was responsible for the management of high performance programmes in a number of Olympic sports in the run-in for Sydney 2000.
He was also the mentor behind Brunei's astounding success in the southeast Asian Games in 1999. On that occasion Brunei finished with their best ever medals' tally - 47 compared with the 10 in the previous edition.
MOC president Mr Justice Lino Farrugia Sacco talked about the financial budget for 2001. He said the income expected is Lm213, 000, Lm48, 600 short of the expenditure sum required for the next 12 months - Lm261,600.
He said the Elite/Aspirant Scheme alone will be costing the MOC around Lm37,100 and added that after some fruitful discussions, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Jesmond Mugliett has guaranteed that apart from the Lm120,000 pledged for each 2001 and 2002, two other grants of Lm25,000 for each year will be passed over to the MOC as well.
The Malta Olympic Committee is happy with Mr Mugliett's contribution towards sports but the Secretariat is not in a position to give more money, since the country's financial deficit is the most important aspect of the government at the moment.
The MOC is very much in favour of the English based lottery system, where the revenue goes towards sports, and philanthropic causes. This idea was also given the red light by former Minister of Finance George Bonello Du Puis, now Malta's Ambassador to the UK.