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Official feature of the Maltese Olympic Committee
January 09, 2008
The Maltese Olympic Committee (MOC) hosted a Media Breakfast at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, where it announced its plans and objectives for 2008. The MOC, as the authority for elite sport in Malta and representative of the Olympic Movement, will have a busy agenda especially bearing in mind that 2008 is the year of the Olympic Games and itís 80th Anniversary. 

President Lino Farrugia Sacco addressed the media representatives and commenced with an overview of 2007, which included a number of seminars, annual events such as the media bífast, the Olympic Day Run and the MOC Sports Awards. 2007, in terms of international events, included the Games of the Small States of Europe in Monaco, where Team Malta won four golds, nine silver and 17 bronze medals. 

He also highlighted the outstanding results of Francesca and Martina Xuereb at the Belgrade European Youth Olympic Festival, where Francesca placed fourth in her heat and Martina made it to the semi-finals. 

In addition he highlighted the success at the Mediterranean Friendship tournament held between Malta and Sicily, and which will once again take place in 2008. Other activities included a celebrative mass held by the Archbishop of Malta, a visit to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition; a number of programmes that involved Olympians visiting schools and the MOC received delegates visits from bidding cities relating to the Mediterranean and commonwealth games such as Volos, Rijeka, Glasgow and Halifax; and 2007 was topped with a visit from Mr Patrick Hickey the EOC President.

Farrugia Sacco spoke about the plans and objectives of the MOC for 2008 Ė being the year of the Olympic Games in Beijing, with other international games including the European Youth Olympic Festival, the commonwealth Youth Games, Pune, India, the Mediterranean Friendship Tournament and the COJI.

The MOC will obviously be focusing on the Beijing Olympic Games, which will be led by Julian Pace Bonello who will be the Chef de Mission. 

He went on to announce that the contingent will most likely consist of six or seven athletes; two athletes to be selected from one male and four females, two swimmers to be selected from among two males and four females, one judoka (Marcon Bezzina) and one or two shooters Ė William Chetcuti and another still to be decided. At the media breakfast the official kit to be worn by the contingent was revealed.

The MOC President announced that a grant of e279,524 has been warded from the Kunsill Malti ghall-Isports for its annual grant to the MOC. 

In addition, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has allocated e79,919 (Lm34,300) to the MOC, which sum also covers Team Maltaís preparation for the Beijing Games. The European Olympic Committee will give the MOC e36,581 (Lm15,700) while the organising committees of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India (2010) and Glasgow (2014) will donate e16,640 (Lm7,142) to the MOC. 

In respect of the MOCís 80th Anniversary, a number of proposed activities will be scheduled to celebrate this milestone which will include a commemorative medal, a mass of thanksgiving, a photographic and art exhibition, the possibility of a commemorative stamp request, school visits and a number of publications. 

2008 will see representation at the 48th International Session for Youth Participants under the auspices of the international Olympic Academy, whereby 2 Maltese youths aged between 20 and 35 will represent Malta at this seminar. 

In addition, representation will also be possible for post-graduate students at the 16th International session on Olympic studies and the 8th International Session for Educators and Officials of Higher Institute of Physical Education. At the moment the MOC is also organising a project based competition to select two youths between ages 16-18 to represent Malta at the Beijing Youth Camp, which is held at the same time as the Olympic Games.

Other items on the MOCís agenda include looking at the possibilities of extending its members to include representation from the following bodies in malta: the Sports Writers, the Paralympics, Special Olympics, the Deaf, Armed Forces Sports Association, Police Sports Association and the University Sports Associations Ė this will entail a special commission to be set up to study the possibilities and implications of such new memberships. 

This commission will be chaired by Mr. Joseph cassar and will include members Mr. Carm Borg, Mr. Bertie Muscat and Mr. Lino Bugeja. 

2008 will also see a number of seminars and courses taking place in addition to the annual events such as the Olympic Day run and the MOC Sports Awards. The MOC Adventure Park and the MOC Museum are also scheduled to happen this year. the MOC will continue itís programme with itís athletes to continue with community work and the MOC wishes to strengthen itís relationship with the local councils and plans to encourage them to increase their sports facilities and sports in their locality and plans to aware that local council which succeeds in this area a dedicated awarded to be given our during the MOC Sports Awards.

The MOC is a non-profit voluntary organisation run by a voluntary committee of 13 directors, which is responsible for all aspects of Maltaís involvement in the Olympic Movement and representation at Games at elite level namely the Games of the Small States of Europe, Mediterranean Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games. In, addition, the MOC manages a number of specific programmes including a dedicated Athleteís Support Programme.

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