Former president and founder of the Malta Wrestling Federation Simon A. Bonello, passed away yesterday, aged 85.
Mr Bonello will be mostly remembered for introducing freestyle wrestling in the local sporting scene back in 1967 when he got together a group of youths who were showing interest in practising the Olympic sport.
Eventually, the federation was set up in December 1969 and became fully affiliated with the International Federation a year later. The first wrestling club on our shores was aptly named L-Ewwel Klabb tal-Lotta (EKL).
Mr Bonello was actively involved in other sporting activities and served as an official of the Maltese Olympic Committee for 25 years. He was an avid horseracing reporter and was also involved in the Għaqda Kittieba Sports.
For many years, he was asked to give his contribution in the organisation of the Sportivi Nazzjonali contest and was nominated a few times himself for the Official of the Year award.
Mr Bonello was one of Malta’s longest serving presidents of a national associations.
During his tenure, he sought to promote the sport outside the country and between 1993 and 2004 his organisation successfully hosted international tournaments involving European small states and autonomous regions.
He was also instrumental together woth SportMalta management team to the upgrade of facilities in Naxxar last year.
On behalf of SportMalta Chairman, Board of Directors, Management team and staff deepest condolences to the family.