Athletics: Eight medals for Maltese athletes at European Kids Athletics Games

Maltese young athletes have enjoyed successful and multi-medalled experience at the 17th Edition of the European Kids Athletics Games held in Brno, in the Czech Republic. The Maltese youngsters, aged 11 to 15 joined over 1,800 from other countries including larger nations such as Italy, Poland and Croatia.

Malta was present with a strong contingent of 48 boys and girls, hailing from five local clubs, with Rush AC and Pembroke Athleta providing the lion’s share of athletes (18 and 15 respectively), with the rest forming part of the La Salle, Aloysians and Zurrieq Wolves teams.

The delegation came back with a string of notable performances, topped with a number of medals in highly competitive track and field events. In consideration of the strong athletes competing in Brno, such results reflect the process registered by the athletics movement in recent years and bodes well for future prospects.

These Games will surely remain fond in the memories of Thea Parnis Coleiro and Matthew Azzopardi. Rush AC’s Parnis Coleiro has not only claimed gold in the 60m and silver in the long jump but was also awarded the honour of best performance of the games in her age group. A similar accolade was achieved by La Salle’s Matthew Azzopardi in the 2009 category after his gold medal in the 800m in the Under 14 competition, which he won in an age category record time.

Malta’s flag was well-honoured through other succesful results including  gold by Nick Bonett (Pembroke) in the 150m race while Luca Gerarda  (Rush AC) won silver in the Javelin and a bronze in the shotput. In two exciting races, Malta was on the podium in both 4x60m relays, with the boys bringing home silver and they girls bronze. For the boys, all hailing from Pembroke Athleta, it was also an age category record (U/14). The 4×300 mixed group, hailing from Rush AC achieved a category record in the Under 16.

A number of other Maltese youngsters reached the final of their respective competition, with a few missing a podium place by a whisker. These incldued Thea Shoemake (Rush AC), Bianca Shoemake (Rush AC), Kristina Azzopardi (Pembroke), Zach Mansaray (Rush AC), Kayla Slack (Rush AC), Elya Azzopardi (Pembroke), Viola Pizzolato (Rush AC) and Mireya Bugeja (Zurrieq).

‘Enrichment in Athletics’

Enrichment in Athleticsadding technical skills to training program, enrichment of knowledge to local coaches apart from athletes.

This project has been funded by the Training Initiatives Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector.

Rush Athletic Club had the opportunity to benefit from a scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector. This training camp involved  Khalid Alqawati and James Beckford, two foreign coaches who worked with our team athletes and coaches for a number of days here in Malta.  

 Khalid Alqawati was with us between the 6th and the 9th January 2022, when he started training with the Top Maltese Throwing Athletes by introducing them some new drills. Khalid also trained with the rest of the athletes on the following day using different age appropriate drills and techniques.  He also guided athletes during a competition being held during that weekend and guided a gym session showing new exercises and new routine.

 James Beckford was here in Malta between the 13th and the 17th January 2022, when he started training with the Top Maltese Long Jump Athletes then continued with the Sprinters.  He also trained with other athletes by showing drills, making fun games and intensive training according to age category.  He was also present during a competition where he guided our team athletes who were competing.

These training camps, both with Khalid and James were of great benefit both for athletes and coaches to improve their athletic performance and coaching abilities during this season.  Rush Athletic Club is grateful for MCVS and TIS for this great opportunity.

Young Athletes Meeting Great Performances

Amazing results in gruelling conditions in yesterday’s AM Young Athletes Meet4-Challenge2 U16. Many top results and performances during the afternoon with surely the best performance overall coming from 13 year old Thea Parnis Coleiro bolting the 100m in 12.57 with the wind just over the legal limit (2.2). Other great performances coming from 9 year old Leah Frendo who finished the 60m in a PB of 9.22. In the boys we had also Kurt Ciantar who managed to obtain all MQS for the National Sports School.