Athletics Malta has launched a major infrastructural investment project at the Matthew Micallef St John Athletics Stadium in Marsa with the aim of creating a world-class venue for Malta’s athletes while supporting the association’s drive at transforming the area into an international sporting hub.
The investment was announced by Andy Grech, Athletics Malta President, in the presence of Hon Clifton Grima, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport as well as officials from the Maltese Olympic Committee and Sport Malta.
Parliamentary Secretary Grima stated that the Government has already announced a number of projects in Marsa, which will strengthen the sports infrastructure and ameliorate this area.
During the presentation, Parliamentary Secretary Grima said that, “the project being presented today by the association – which is still at design stage – can be implemented step by step.
This can happen through serious plans and consideration of our nation’s commitments. Our country will be hosting a number of international commitments and we need to ensure all is done wisely in order to achieve high-quality infrastructure for sport in Malta.”
From his end, Andy Grech explained that this new investment, which looks at the hosting of the Games of Small States of Europe in 2023 and beyond, has been planned to accommodate elite athletes from all over the world, boosting Malta’s name as a leading sports tourism destination in Europe.
Besides the Class 1 athletics track, the facility will house wet and dry rehabilitation facilities, a sports science centre, physiotherapy areas, state of the art weightlifting gym, lecture rooms, offices, and conference rooms, a restaurant with a panoramic room, a dedicated VIP and media room as well as a dedicated hostel on the premises.
Athletics Malta is closely collaborating with Sport Malta, which is also investing in nearby facilities adjacent to the Stadium, in order to transform the area into a veritable sporting hub.
The Athletics Malta President further noted that the facility will one of a few self-sustainable and environmentally friendly athletics stadiums in Europe, explaining: “Environmental governance has become a structural part of the Olympic framework and thinking, yet striking a balance between the potential economic impact, whilst accepting our eco-friendly responsibility is not an easy task. Modern stadiums require investment and to make the stadium worthwhile, our architects have designed it to be useful the whole year round and resource-efficient.
Our warmup area and grandstand will be covered with photovoltaic panels, which absorb sunlight and provide shelter to our spectators and athletes. Rainwater collection and reusable water storage will be used for our rehabilitation area, showers and toilets as well as the irrigation of our infield area.”
Grech concluded that “Athletics Malta has put forward a proposal which is well positioned to help drastically improve our stance in sport, yet build a local sustainable future.”
The minds behind the project are architects Dario Mangion, Julian Mifsud, Paula Grech and Luke Micallef, who are also athletes themselves.