SportMalta together with the Malta Sports Journalists Association will again be organizing the SportMalta Awards- Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali, a much anticipated event by all local sport enthusiasts especially athletes, coaches and sport administrators.
This year’s edition will take place on Saturday 25th of February 2017 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta.
The SportMalta Awards- Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali, have developed year after year since their inception over 55 years ago where during the first edition in 1960, Wilfred Pirotta was awarded with the annual Sportsman Award: an event which has flourished in its popularity and participation from associations and federations, sports journalists and the general public.
A number of new categories have been introduced over the years. This year’s edition that will recognize the achievements in the different levels of sports will comprise of the below categories:
Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, Male and Female Youth of the year and Award for the best initiative for the organization of an international event in Malta., Male and Female Special Olympics Award, Best Gozitan Athlete and the SportMalta Award selected by the general public.
During a press conference, Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, innovation, Youth and Sport expressed his satisfaction that for yet another year two entities are working together towards a single goal. He stated that such a small country like Malta which is lacking in human resources cannot afford to operate in tribes. He emphasized that there should also be mutual respect between atheletes, coaches, adminitrators and journalists. He said that during this last year certain unplesant incidents have been associated with sports but he claimed that this should not affect the celebration of Sport through the SportMalta Awards- Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali.
Mark Cutajar, Chairman of the Organizing Committee stated that although he understands that this event is a celebration of talent he is aware that the expense invested to organize such an occasion must be reasonable and taken with responsibility. He also mentioned the importance of transparency in the selection process and assured that it is a transparent and fair procedure which is another goal reached by the organizing committee. He gave details about the final night which will take place on the 25th of February at The Mediterranean Conference Centre and hosted by Pamela Schembri. He announced that the certificate giving ceremony prior to the final night will also take place at this venue on the 7th of February 2017. He mentioned the awards in the categories mainly Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, Male and Female Youth of the year and Award for the best initiative for the organization of an international event in Malta, Male and Female Special Olympics Award, Best Gozitan Athlete and the SportMalta Award selected by the general public. The event will provide a spectacular and entertaining performance. Mr Cutajar concluded by thanking the CEO of the Public Broadcasting Service , John Bundy whereby for another year the national broadcasting service will be transmitting live on TVM 2 the event which is going to be even more spectacular than previous years.
Sandro Micallef, General Secretary of the Malta Sports Journalists Association thanked SportMalta for accepting to conjointly organise these awards for the eighth consecutive year. He appealed to the secretaries of the Associations to actively participate in the nomination phase which closes on the 20th of January. Mr Micallef also encouraged the sports journalists to give their contribution in the judging phase so that from 10 finalists the number is reduced to 5 participants before the voting stage during the final night.
Luciano Busuttil, Chairman of SportMalta said that this celebration serves as a showcase of talent of our sports people who act as role models for those persons who wish to make that extra effort and take up sport as a profession.
History behind the Awards
55 years have elapsed since the much esteemed Benny Pace dreamed of creating these awards through his journal “The Sporting Star’, during this time the choice was solely in the hands of the general public who voted for their preferred sportsperson whom they believed deserved to win. Following this initial phase the responsibility of the voting was passed on to the members of the Sports Journalists Association who used the traditional numerical sign system to cast their preferences during the event itself, later in the years this voting process used to take place some days before. However the organising committee made the decision to revert to the original live voting of course utilising modern technology in a more professional and advanced way.