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With the announcement and confirmation of the Andorra national Olympic committee cancelling the games of the small states of Europe which were to be held in Andorra next May 2021, now the next country to host them will be Malta in 2023.

The Andorra NOC President confirmed earlier this month that due to the current situation including also the economic and sportive situation caused by Covid-19 the country will not be in a position to host the games.

Malta will now host the 19th edition of these games and thus will be the third time that Malta would be hosting them after the edition in 1993 and 2003.

All sport around the world has been effected and Malta is no different. The proverbial saying ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ brings hope in many different ways to all athletes passing from this challenging situation due to this pandemic. One step at a time until the sport industry will be back stronger than ever.

This pandemic brought significant disruptions in the training plans, training camps and competitions of athletes who have dedicated much of their time and money to compete and improve. These are certainly times no one has control over them. Consequently, here the entire sport industry including all stakeholders that is coaches, officials and administrators are set to face challenges due to this crisis which could also have long lasting impacts on the club and the sport itself.

The GSSE Malta 2023 should not be the only target for our athletes, even though we must agree that these games carry certain pride on the athlete and the country. In these exceptional circumstances that the sport is on hold, it is of utmost importance to establish adequate support for athletes including a clear action plan once the health restrictions from authorities are better or the pandemic is over.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most challenging time for athletes and players. This is a time that brings about uncertainties. Many questions that pass through the head of the athlete i.e When are we resuming training sessions with team-mates? When are the sports clubs opening?  When is the gym opening? When is the pool opening? Will I get the sponsor back? When will I be able to travel again in order to compete? Which is my next race? What about my training plans? Am I still motivated to do the sport?

This crisis has come on us hard and fast. The fact that all sport is on hold, gives the opportunity to the athlete to keep the focus and get closer to the dreams. We are on our way to beating this pandemic. We hold out hope for the day when athletes, players and teams once again take the field and the sport becomes our pride once again.

This is a long road – difficult but not impossible heading to a number of national sports events and also international ones leading to the GSSE Malta 2023. Let’s hope for the best.

 

Aqsam ma' ħaddieħor

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