The University Ground and Track will be renovated in the near future after a permit for a new sports complex was approved by the Planning Authority yesterday.
The current site comprises of a tarmac athletics’s track, a spectator stand, the two-storey institute for Physical Education and Sport, and the Alumni Gymnasium. The site also includes a derelict, full-size football pitch.
The new plan will see the renovation of this football ground and also the building of an eight lane, international standard, athletics track around it. There will also be a new, two-tiered spectator stand as part of the Ground & Track Complex. This stand will, in total, hold around 1000 spectators at full capacity.
The Alumni Gymnasium meanwhile will be replaced by a new Institute of Physical Education and Sport building which will consist of 6 levels; 3 underground and 3 above ground. The Institute will house squash courts, showers, a multi-purpose sports hall, a lounge area, lecture rooms, a computer laboratory, offices, study and education areas and a research laboratory. Meanwhile, two new basketball pitches and a volleyball pitch as well as two additional outdoor tennis courts will be constructed as part of Phase 2 of this project.
The permit was approved however on the condition that the University consider concerns raised about the car park provisions within the University grounds as a result of this project and the installation of renewable energy measures in consultation with the Institute of Renewable Energy of the University.
The University Rector, Professor Alfred Vella, had already announced that this project was in the offing during a consultation hosted by KSU last month. Within that, Professor Vella mooted mid-2019 to early 2020 as the completion date for this project.
Malta University Sports Club Welcomes News
The Malta University Sports Club are the oldest sports organisation on campus, boasting a football team playing in amateur leagues, representation in Basketball and Volleyball and also its own Tennis club and Running club. The Yuppie spoke to MUSC President Antoine Attard for his reaction towards the new plans;
Just ask any student about sports on campus and you’ve got your answer. It is no secret. The University of Malta has been crying out for the regeneration of the sports complex for the last decade, yet the proposed area has remained dormant. It’s literally a sleeping giant! Just think about it, there are over 10,000 students here, there is a lot of untapped potential. The number of sporting teams representing the university as well as health campaigns on campus have been steadily increasing. This is a positive ongoing attempt by several sport activists who are encouraging more movement, participation and commitment from our students. Sport at university level is unfortunately swept to the side and it is often the case that many top athletes stop practising in its entirety at this stage, due to the pressures of studying. Perhaps with this accessible and professional set up, athletes and university teams may better coordinate their time and practise on campus. It will also put an end to the headache of searching for suitable training areas, a dilemma that sport organizations are currently enduring.