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Special Olympics Gibraltar will be heading for Malta this week

Special Olympics Gibraltar will be heading for Malta this Thursday with a fifteen athlete team to participate in the first ever Special Olympics Malta Invitational Games which kick off this week.
They will be amongst 550 athletes from 23 participating countries, including the USA, who will compete in six 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 Special Olympics Malta Invitational Games 2022 will take place from 13 to 18 May 2022. In partnership with the Republic of Malta, Sports Malta and supporters, the nation looks forward to welcoming up to 700 athletes and unified partners from approximately 20 countries to compete and showcase the talents and skills of athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world.
The games is an opportunity for the Gibraltar team to return to competitive international events after a long spell away from such activities due to the global pandemic.
Gibraltar’s Special Olympics team, prior to the global pandemic were among one of the more prolific teams at international level returning with many a success story under their belts.

Further information on the games.

The invited nations include:
Austria Belgium Cyprus
Estonia Finland Germany
Gibraltar Greece Hungary
Isle of Man Israel Italy
Liechtenstein France Malta
Texas (USA) Portugal Romania
Florida (USA) San Marino Slovakia
Spain Turkey UAE

Events and Competitions
Four days competitions in six sports : Aquatics, Athletics, Bocce, Bowling, Football, and Table Tennis.
Unified Sports format will be offered in: Bocce, Bowling and Table Tennis. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

All athletes will be over the age of 16

Healthy Athletes
All athletes will be offered free health screenings and health education in a welcoming, fun environment, including:
Fun Fitness (Physical Therapy) Special Smiles (oral health) Fit Feet (podiatry)

MATP Demonstration
The Special Olympics Motor Activity Training Program is designed for athletes who are unable to participate in official Special Olympics sport competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities. The Motor Activity Training Program is designed to prepare athletes -- including those with severe or profound intellectual disability and significant physical disabilities -- for sport-specific activities appropriate for their ability levels. For the Special Olympics Malta Invitational Games 2022, all resource centers will be invited to participate in this demonstration.

Young Athletes
Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics by showing how all children from a very young age can be valued for their talents and abilities. As part of the Special Olympics Malta Invitational Games 2022, primary schools in Malta will be invited to this event.
University Forum
On 11-12 May, Special Olympics Malta will host the University Forum for professors, students and high school students and external guests to address the issue of inclusion in sports for people with intellectual disabilities in the education system.

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