Special Olympics Gibraltar to head to Malta Invitational Games
Special Olympics Gibraltar will soon be sending a team of 15 athletes to participate in the first ever Special Olympics Malta Invitational Games which kick off on the 14th May. They will be amongst 550 athletes from 23 participating countries, including the USA, who will compete in 6 different sports on offer at the Games. Gibraltar athletes will feature in the swimming, athletics and bowling events along with a 5 a side team competing in a two-division football competition.
The football team from Gibraltar will consist of Francis Avellano, Lee Guerreiro, Gianni Ochello, Giovanni Yeo, Jeremy Prescott, Jansen Gilbert and Nathan Borge under Coaches Brian Fernandez and Jeremy Baldachino, while John Joshua Buttigieg and Stephen Balban will be in the aquatics competition under coach Michael Mauro. In his first overseas competition Ivan Mannion Gomez, alongside Jesse de los Santos, will represent Gibraltar in the athletics event, coached by Francis Mauro, and finally Samyr Annakar, Shane Martinez and the Zammit brothers Marvin and Dorian will be competing in the bowling competition under coach Leslie Martinez. National Director Annie Risso will be going as Head of Delegation.
The team leave for Malta on Thursday 12th May returning on Wednesday 18th May and is a return to the international stage for Special Olympics Gibraltar following a period of disruption caused by the pandemic, which saw the World Winter Games, due to be held in Russia, postponed twice and eventually cancelled due to the Ukraine situation.
National Director Annie Risso said; "Special Olympics Gibraltar was honoured to be invited to take part in the first Malta Invitational Games and it is great for our athletes to be facing international competition again after an unusually long break between games. Our athletes work hard week in, week out to train for events such as this, they are all excited to be going and I know that our team will do their best as they always do!"