Maltese Parliamentary Secretariat unveils plans for MOVE Week 2013
Malta is the latest European country to announce it will take part in MOVE Week from 7-13 October 2013. The Maltese Parliamentary Secretariat for Research, Innovation Youth and Sport joined forces with the Malta Sport Council (Kunsill Malti għall-Isport), the national youth agency (Aġenzija Żgħażagħ) and MOVE Week Regional Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe Laska Nenova to host the country’s MOVE Week 2013 kick-off meeting at Kirkop Sports Complex on 27 July.
The strong government and community backing of Malta’s first participation in MOVE Week highlights a growing awareness of the need to engage more adults and youth in physical activity and volunteering to help tackle “alarming” rates of obesity and non-communicable diseases in the country.
The kick-off meeting was held as a one-day seminar and attracted more than 30 participants, including coaches, young volunteers, marketing specialists, representatives from the education sector and local media.
Private Secretary Keith Caruana of the Parliamentary Secretariat for Research, Innovation Youth and Sport says that the meeting was a positive and collaborative step towards making Malta’s first MOVE Week a success.
“The seminar in Malta went quite well, and the participants seem enthusiastic to implement this innovative activity in Malta. The participants have launched a Facebook page to entice Maltese people to participate in some physical activities even prior to October,” he says.
Malta’s commitment to MOVE Week has prompted the Malta Sport Council and national youth agency to work together for the first time. The government bodies are using their youth networks and social media to invite youth organisations and young volunteers to register as MOVE Agents who will stage community events during MOVE Week. At least 20 Maltese youth will attend a follow-up seminar organised through the Health Promotion Unit, Malta University, the Malta Association of Physiotherapists and local councils and organisations on 24 August.
MOVE Week is also expected to come under the media spotlight, with billboards, television features and a special anthem produced by local DJ J Joy planned as part of the publicity campaign.
With so much already planned for Malta’s first MOVE Week, the country promises an exciting event in October. But Malta Sport Council’s Head of Programmes Office Robert Portelli believes MOVE Week has the potential to create an even broader effect in the Maltese community.
“My aim is to get the team bigger to make a bigger impact. Unfortunately people in Malta do not have much time on their hands to do voluntary work, but the idea of a ‘week’ is a good way to encourage them to commit for a short time. Hopefully they will engage beyond the MOVE Week and make physical activity an integral part of their lifestyle.”
Rachel Payne, ISCA
In the picture, from left to right:
MOVE Week Regional Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, Laska Nenova
Kunsill Malti Għall-Isport Chairman, Jonathan Barbara
Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Stefan Buontempo
Aġenzija Żgħażagħ CEO, Miriam Teuma
Head of Programmes, Kunsill Malti Għall-Isport, Robert Portelli
(Photo - DOI - REuben Piscopo)