In October, Special Olympics International’s Senior Manager of Motor Activity Training Program (MATP), Niamh Mourton, attended a groundbreaking MATP event in Malta. Malta has hosted several MATP events, but this one surpassed expectation, drawing more than 200 athletes to participate as well as the support from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), government officials and many other stakeholders in the Special Olympics movement.
Regional President and Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia David Evangelista was in Malta for the event and shared his experience first-hand of what he witnessed and partook in. “Special Olympics Europe Eurasia and SOI-Sports and Competition are thrilled to share a new record for our growing MATP program! Through the continued global leadership of SOI Board member Eleni Rossides and the formidable work of Niamh Mourton, our Senior Manager for MATP, our team conducted a record-setting training in partnership with Special Olympics Malta and Aġenzija Sapport in Valletta late last month.
Through the global support of LCIF, 200 MATP athletes from Special Olympics Malta were welcomed to the event. Together with 200 Unified partners from universities in Malta and 100 assistants from Aġenzija Sapport Day Services, organization that lend social services support in Malta, the event exceeded 500 attendees and stakeholders!
The event was highlighted by remarks offered by the Minister of Education, the Honorable Dr. Clifton Grima, as well as the Minister of Disability and Inclusion, the Honorable Julia Farrugia. Dr. Lydia Abela President of Special Olympics Malta who is also the wife of Malta’s Prime Minister, was on-hand to support the continued impressive leadership of Special Olympics Malta National Director, Anna Calleja.
The training represents one of several key milestones in the continued development of MATP providing high quality meaningful sports opportunities to all athletes—a strategic initiative for SOEE!
We as a region wish to reiterate our deep appreciation to Eleni and to Niamh, as well as to all participating Programs, for making this milestone real for our athletes in Malta and beyond.”