The Executive Committee of the Malta Sports Journalists Association held its first official meeting with the newly appointed Opposition Spokesperson for Sport Mr. Robert Cutajar.
The meeting which was held through a video conference call was attended by all the members of the Malta SJA Executive Committee. During the meeting Mr. Cutajar was given an insight of the ongoing work and future projects which are being undertaken by the Malta SJA.
During his intervention Sandro Micallef President of the Malta SJA remarked the fact that the Association was proud to have an existing healthy relationship with the major local stakeholders in Sports and media namely: The Parliamentary Secretariat for Sport, SportMalta, the Maltese Olympic Committee, Sports Associations, the Institute of Maltese Journalists, and local media houses apart from its international ties with AIPS (The International Sports Media Association).
Mr. Micallef urged the Nationalist Party to support the Association’s four main proposals for the improvement of the current situation of Sport in Malta being but not limited to:
- The commitment of a yearly drastic increase in the Government’s Budget towards Sports with a clear distinction to be made between budget for Capital Projects / ongoing maintenance expenses and the direct budget investment for the training required by our elite athletes.
- The Commitment from Political Parties to include the promise to elevate Sports to a Ministry in their upcoming General Election respective manifestos.
- The commitment to assist financially and logistically the vision of the Malta Sports Journalists Association to commence the National Sports Museum project in Valletta.
- The commitment to approve secondments of civil service employees to be assigned as full time administrators to more Sports Associations especially those who represent Malta in the international scenario and achieve tangible results.
Whilst agreeing in principle with the majority of the Association’s proposals Mr. Cutajar an ex Malta SJA member himself, remarked the Nationalist Party has already committed itself to elevate Sports to a Ministerial level should the Party win the next General Election. The PN’s spokesperson mentioned several other matters which will be discussed by both parties in the weeks to come among which the possible introduction of the required Legal Notices as subsidiary legislation to implement the provisions of the Healthy Lifestyle Act which was enacted way back in 2016.
Whilst acknowledging the Government’s recently launched Emergency Fund of €125,000 from which Voluntary Organisations will be benefiting during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Cutajar vouched his commitment to encourage the Government to make a similar fund also available for Sports Associations and Federations especially for those who have been financially affected and whose future operation is at risk.