As part of its efforts to improve the quality of the sporting facilities offered for the organisation of athletics events in Malta, Athletics Malta had in recent months initiated an independent tendering process of a complete resurfacing of the track at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium in Marsa.
Such investment, that once completed was to mean an outlay of some €700,000, is an important step in preparation for the Games of Small States of Europe in 2023 due to be held in Malta, but also as part of Athletics Malta’s efforts to attract higher profile international events on our shores.
Despite the thorough tendering process, Athletics Malta and the local sporting community were significantly short-changed, as unfortunately, the quality of the works, entrusted to private contactors left much to be desired.
Despite assurances to the contrary, the non-completed works have resulted in a track failing to meet even the basic requirements, with a slippery surface, lack of safety elements and other deficiencies which as a result, fail to allow the Association to secure a basic Level 1 approval for Malta’s main athletics stadium.
Independent evaluators have confirmed to Athletics Malta that the track quality and performance is below the tender specifications, is of poor quality and is devoid of basic requirements such as a water spillage system that ensures that no water is accumulated on track in case of rain, thus potentially endagering athletes.
In view of this situation, Athletics Malta had no other option but to postpone the upcoming Summer Championships by a number of weeks. The situation has in the immediate present caused significant financial and logistical distress to Athletics Malta. In this context, the association conveys its deepest appreciation to SportMalta for its undue support during these testing times.
Despite the urgency in securing a high-quality track for our athletes, Athletics Malta believes that no shortcuts should be taken and has insisted with the contractor to remedy the identified deficiencies and secure a swift completion of the works.