AD calls for improvement in access to sports and outdoor activities

AD expresses its concern as latest Eurobarometer survery ranks Maltese youth among the least active, with only 11% taking part in any sporting activity.

AD spokesperson on sports and youth Luke Caruana said: “The study’s result does not really surprise us since our society still considers physical activity as secondary in the development of youth. Unfortunately we fail to see the various long-term benefits of introducing young people to sports at an early age.”

“Apart from helping physical fitness, sports can also foster personal development and community skills. For this reason physical and outdoor activities need to be accessible for everyone. There is too much focus on competitive sports and not enough emphasis on fun, community and informal activities. Schools and local sports clubs have an integral role in introducing a wide range of sports activities at a young age. There is also a huge problem that is keeping children and young people indoors: streets are not people friendly at all. Policies for people friendly residential roads are lacking.”

“Physical education should have a bigger role in schools with an emphasis on the inclusion of students with different sporting abilities. These should include minority individual  and team sports such as volleyball, judo, baseball and softball, and cycling among others.”

“On the other hand, the importance of local amateur clubs and associations should be recognised by government at all levels. These clubs need assistance since they cannot depend on sponsors. This should include the use of government administered sports facilities and school premises at no additional costs. Local councils also need to be involved so that different sports for people with different interests are easily accessible in our localities. With good planning neighbouring towns will be able to share facilities, making a variety of activities available and accessible throughout Malta and Gozo.”

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AD tesprimi t-tħassib tagħha wara li l-aktar rapport riċenti tal-Eurobarometer jikklassifika ż-żgħażagħ Maltin fost dawk l-inqas attivi, b’11% biss jieħdu sehem f’xi attività sportiva.

Il-Kelliem ta’ AD għall-isport u ż-żgħażagħ Luke Caruana qal: “Ir-riżultat ta’ l-istudju mhux sorpriża għalina peress li s-soċjetà tagħna għadha tqis l-attività fiżika bħala sekondarja fl-iżvilupp taż-żgħażagħ. Sfortunatament mhux qed nagħtu importanza lid-diversi benefiċċji fit-tul tal-introduzzjoni taż-żgħażagħ u t-tfal għall-isport f’età bikrija. “

“Minbarra li l-isport jgħin l-iżvilupp fiżiku, l-isport jista’ wkoll jippromwovi żvilupp personali u l-koeżjoni tal-komunità. Għal din ir-raġuni, l-attivitajiet fiżiċi għandhom ikunu aċċessibbli għal kulħadd. Hemm wisq enfasi fuq l-isports kompetittiv u m’hemmx enfasi biżżejjed fuq l-attivitajiet fiżiċi non-kompetittivi, divertenti, tal-komunità u informali. L-iskejjel u l-klabbs sportivi lokali għandhom rwol integrali fl-introduzzjoni ta’ firxa wiesgħa ta’ attivitajiet sportivi minn età żgħira. Hemm ukoll problema kbira li żżomm lit-tfal u liż-żgħażagħ ġewwa: it-toroq mhumiex aċċessibbli għan-nies. Hemm bżonn politika għal toroq residenzjali li jiffavorixxu lin-nies u mhux l-karozzi akkost ta’ kollox.”

“L-edukazzjoni fiżika għandu jkollha rwol akbar fl-iskejjel b’enfasi fuq l-inklużjoni ta ‘studenti b’ħiliet sportivi differenti. Dawn għandhom jinkludu sport ta’ minoranza individwali u tim sports bħall-volleyball, judo, baseball  u softball, u iċ-ċikliżmu fost oħrajn. “

“Min-naħa l-oħra, l-importanza tal-klabbs u l-assoċjazzjonijiet tad-dilettanti lokali għandha tkun rikonoxxuta mill-gvern fil-livelli kollha. Dawn il-klabbs jeħtieġu għajnuna billi ma jistgħux jiddependu minn sponsers. Dan għandu jinkludi l-użu ta’ faċilitajiet sportivi u faċilitajiet tal-iskejjel mingħajr ebda spiża addizzjonali. Il-kunsilli lokali jeħtieġu wkoll li jkunu involuti sabiex isports differenti għal nies b’interessi differenti jkunu aċċessibbli faċilment fil-lokalitajiet tagħna. B’ippjanar tajjeb, il-lokalitjiet ġirien jkunu jistgħu jaqsmu faċilitajiet u jagħmlu varjetà ta ‘attivitajiet fiżiċi disponibbli u aċċessibbli madwar Malta u Għawdex kollha.”

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