Author: Kevin Azzopardi

With the first six articles in this series focusing on sport development in Malta and the last two on the sporting trends in Gozo, today’s last article will feature on the remaining inhabited island within the Maltese archipelago, Comino. The miniscule island of Comino, situated between Malta and Gozo, with a mere permanent population of just two residents, has also had its own limited impact on the development of sport in the Maltese Islands. In 1959 the island was aptly selected as one of the venues for the World Underwater Spearfishing Championships, an event that continued to feature regularly in…

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Traditional bocci in Gozo is different than that played in Malta as it’s the petanque style that has been practised for many years since the foundation of the first facilities at Ta’ Xerri in Qala and in Triq Santa Dminka in Victoria. Yet, the first official competitions were held in September 1964 in Kerċem following which the Assoċjazzjoni Boċċi Għawdex was set up in 1982, however, its existence was shortlived. In 2016, following the initiative of Joe Bajada, the Assoċjazzjoni Għawdxija tal-Boċċi was founded and it regularly organises competitions in various localities. Weightlifting in Gozo started to be organised in…

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Following an in-depth analysis spread over the previous six articles about the way in which sport developed in Malta, the next two articles will delve into the knock-on effect that this has had on sport development in Gozo. The sister island of Gozo also has its own historical narration as to how sport developed among its community, with most mirroring developments on the mainland. Yet Gozitan uniqueness has its say into the equation too. As opposed to sport development in Malta, foreign influence was at a bare minimum as the vast majority of disciplines took off following the initial assistance…

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In last week’s article we saw how a number of new national sport associations continued to sprout during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Sunday’s article will focus on the last few years prior to the dawn of the new millennium leading to the situation in Malta today. The Malta Gymnastics Federation was founded in 1996 by a group of gymnastics enthusiasts spearheaded by Chinese coach Albert Chun. The first Artistic Gymnastics Championships were held at San Anton School in Mġarr in 1999. The Malta Dancesport Association was also established in 1996 with the aim of cultivating dance…

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In last week’s article we saw how local initiative was on the rise following the departure of the British. Today’s account continues to shed light on the sporting developments towards the end of the twentieth century leading to the dawn of the new millennium. The Malta Cricket Association was formed in 1989 yet the first cricket match to be played on the Maltese Islands was held more than 110 years before, precisely in 1878 at the Verdala Palace Ground between British Services regiments stationed at the Cottonera and Valletta areas in which the latter won by 118 runs. Such matches…

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