Tennis and weightlifting to get new home with €5 million investment

A new eight-court tennis facility will be built in Pembroke and a weightlifting hall at the Marsa sports complex

Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Clifton Grima, announced the investment
Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Clifton Grima, announced the investment

A €5 million investment will see the construction of a tennis facility and a weightlifting hall in preparation for the Games of the Small States of Europe to be held in Malta in 2023.

The projects were announced on Tuesday by Sports Parliamentary Secretary Clifyon Grima in Pembroke on the site where a state of the art tennis facility with eight courts will be built.

The tennis facility will go up next to the St Clara College Secondary School. The investment will also see a major refurbishment to the Marsa sports complex to cater for professional weightlifting competitions.

Sport Malta CEO Mark Cutajar said the projects formed part of the preparations for the Games of the Small States of Europe to be held in Malta in 2023.

"The tennis facility will consist of eight tennis courts,” Cutajar said, adding that the Planning Authority had already issued the planning permit for this to happen.

He explained that the demand for these facilities was high not just because the sport is becoming popular but also because Malta has its crop of “committed, high-level players”.

Cutajar said that besides a new weightlifting hall in the Marsa sports complex, the investment would also cater for an upgrade to the squash facilities, including six new single courts and new double courts.

Sports Malta Chairman, Luciano Busuttil, said that “it is finally time for tennis”. He said that since Malta is doing reasonably well in this sport, it is the government’s obligation to provide the best opportunities.

Jesmond Caruana, vice-president of the Mediterranean Weightlifting Confederation (MWC) said that the weightlifting complex in Marsa will be officially inaugurated on 23 May.

“We are now at a point where Malta is weightlifting on an international level. The Marsa complex will only continue to increase the sport’s popularity. It will also encourage young weightlifters who will now be able to train in the same space with veteran weightlifters,” Caruana said.

Clifton Grima said that the government had a sports strategy and an ambitious plan where the government was speaking with various federations to encourage success in their respective fields.

“If we contribute to state of the art facilities, the interest in sport will increase, and ultimately so will Malta’s standard of living,” he said, adding that youths were not just the future but most importantly the present.

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