Prime Minister announces plans for new Marsaskala waterpolo pitch

Joseph Muscat said the project was part of a widespread social and economic investment in the south of Malta and an investment in a sport the country has shown itself able to win at

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (Photo: Twitter)
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (Photo: Twitter)

A new waterpolo pitch that is to be built in Marsaskala is part of a series of social and economic investments in the locality and in the south of Malta in general, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Saturday.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the announcement of the new pitch, which will see the government investment up to €4.2 million, through the agency SportMalta, where he said that Marsaskala was seeing more investment in it after years of neglect.

He pointed to government investment in the pitch and a new football ground, as well as the construction of the American University of Malta at Zonqor Point and government plans to relocate the Sant’ Antnin waste treatment facility as part of the government’s investment in the locality.

The Prime Minister noted that Marsaskala was one of the few localities in Malta that did not have an ageing population. This, he said, meant there was even more reason to invest in the community.

“What we are doing here is developing a place were people can come and enjoy themselves but we also have no problem saying that this a way for the country to work towards winning at a sport in which we have a vision and have shown an ability to win,” Muscat said.

National team coaches Karl Izzo and Anthony Farrugia were both present for the announcement.

The project, Muscat said, needed to be viewed within the context of another similar investment in Birzebbuga and a planned complex in the Cottonera area.

Sport Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima expressed his satisfaction at the announcement of the project, adding that water polo was one of the sports where there was a clear plan going forward.

He said that when government had spoken to the Aquatic Sports Association, one of the main points raised was the fact that almost all of the country’s clubs were using the national pool, which he said has reached saturation point.

“It was crystal clear that we needed investment in our localities so that they can have these facilities,” Grima said, adding that government’s investment again proved its commitment to sport.

In this regard, he said government would soon be announcing a national sport strategy that would be built on a number of pillars ranging from education and infrastructure to direct investment to Maltese athletes.

Football complex inaugurated

The Prime Minister also inaugurated a new football complex in the locality which saw a government investment of €2.5 million. The complex is spread over an area of 6,000 sq.m and was announced back in 2016. 

Muscat said that through the government's investment in sports it wanted to instill a mentality that participation wasn't enough, and that Maltese athletes should play to win. 

Grima, who accompanied the Prime Minister to both events, said the complex included a pitch of the highest quality and which was approved by FIFA, as well as facilities for the Marsaskala football club. 

The complex includes dressing rooms, a conference room, offices and a restaurant. It is also equipped with a reservoir to collect water.

As a result of an agreement between Marsaskala FC and SportMalta, the ground will be used by schools in the locality and other clubs in Marsaskala in order to maximise the return from the government's investment in it.