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Local sports figures take centrestage at Wales-Malta Sports Event

Manuela Tesse (centre), coach of the Malta women's football team, was part of this event.

Wales Malta Initiative hosted its first events attended by 180 key individuals from both countries.

The Wales Malta Initiative (WMI) hosted its first events attended by 180 key individuals from both countries in Malta, during the week leading up to the Welsh National Day, St. David’s Day, on March 1, 2024. 

The events were highly successful and led to some action packed debates and discussions with the aim of driving forward sporting participation and success in both countries.

WMI is a not for profit organization, set up by Tony Mahoney a well known Welshman in Malta and Malta born Reuben Mifsud of Wales-based company Tasika.

It’s focus and objectives is to foster and generate greater business relationships, cultural links, and sporting contacts between the two countries.

The organization held three events during the week, the first one focusing on sporting links, moderated by Malta born Christian Vassallo, currently studying a PhD in Swansea University, Wales.

The guest speakers, included Maltese ultra long distance swimmer, Neil Agius, and Maltese badminton Olympian, Matthew Abela.

The event began with an opening from Noel Mooney the CEO of the recently highly successful World Cup qualifying Wales football and key note speaker Lowri Roberts who until recently headed up the Football Association of Wales Women’s and Girl’s football and included presentations from 12 Malta sports organisations including water polo, rugby union and sailing.

The week continued with an event at the life sciences hub with numerous academics and business people travelling from Wales and finally a celebration reception at the British High Commissioners residence in Naxxar, hosted by Deputy High Commissioner, Tristan Gilchrist.

Commenting on the events, Stewart Davies, one of the organizers, and Maltese resident said; “The sport event attracted all key sports from Malta, under one roof, and focused on the ability of small nations to punch above their weight. This ability should be further enhanced later this year, following the completion of the Mediterranean College of Sports. It was an absolute privilege to listen and understand what elite athletes have to endure to become successful.”

Tony Mahoney added; “We were delighted to host so many business people, and academics from Wales, and also look forward to reciprocal events in Wales itself during March 2024, with a delegation travelling from the Ministry of Education, led by Minister Clifton Grima.

The events were a huge success, and we look forward to building on them in 2024, 2025 and beyond – this is just the beginning.”

The events were sponsored by a number of Maltese based businesses and organisations including PWC Malta, Farsons, Visit Malta, Melita, Momentum Pensions as well as Welsh based whiskey distillery Penderyn.

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