‘It’s a rainbow manifesto on sports’ – Anna Calleja

In Labour’s manifesto, physical activity is not only for those who are elite athletes, who take part in competitive sports. It is promoted for everyone in society. For all citizens. It is a rainbow manifesto as regards to sports, sports specialist Anna Calleja told theJournal.mt on theDailySpot #26. 

An element that is given prominence in the manifesto is the impact of sports and physical exercise on wellbeing. In fact, physical activity is part of the prevention strategy when it comes to health; and the manifesto stresses that sport is a life-long process that should begin as early as possible. 

Calleja, who serves as Malta’s national director for Special Olympics said that Labour’s manifesto includes everyone.

“It starts obviously from a tender age, from the young student – the foundation and fundamentals which are very important, and it continues up to an adult citizen, and that is very important,” she said.

“Hopefully we will have a better lifestyle in Malta, and make sports as part of our lifestyle, which is very important,” Calleja concluded.  

The proposals put forward by Labour are wide-ranging: encouraging everyone, and in particular, children, to engage in physical activity — as well as targeting professionals and those who are actively involved in sports.

Labour is proposing that the time allocated for physical education in schools is increased and that a minimum number of lessons is set. The idea is to move towards a model where children engage in one physical activity session every day.

Adequate training for educators, investment in sports facilities, raising the standards and improving quality of physical education are also mentioned. 

Primary school students will be taught to ride a bike.

The national school for sports will be strengthened.

Better cooperation between educational institutions to tackle the challenges that student athletes face. 

More sports-related scholarships, increased stipends for student athletes and the promotion of young people’s participation in international competitions.

The VAT on sports activities will once again decrease, this time down from 7% to 5%.

Multidiciplinary sports centres and outdoor gyms in various localities will be created.

A scheme for purchasing assistive devices for paralympic athletes, a new national centre for sports science, new schemes for professional athletes to pursue a career abroad.

A €20 million investment for the creation of a national centre for motorsports in Ħal Far, €9 million investment to change the Marsa national complex into a sports hub for different disciplines.

The first bike park in our country, new shooting ranges, investment in sports-related specialised medicinal treatment and rehabilitation for athletes.

More good governance in sports through various measures such as the creation of a new independent national tribunal, training for legal professionals in this sector, and an educational campaign in schools. 

Preparations for our country to host the Special Olympics this year, as well as the Games of the Small States of Europe 2023 and the UEFA Under-19 European Championship 2023, are also underway.

These are a few of Labour’s proposals on sports.

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