Week­end storm causes thou­sands of euro in dam­age to wa­ter polo clubs

Malta Independent - - NEWS - He­lena Grech

The north­east­ern storm which took place over the week­end, caus­ing mas­sive waves that crashed over seafront prop­er­ties on the east coast, have caused thou­sands of euro in dam­age to a num­ber of wa­ter polo clubs in the af­fected ar­eas.

The Malta In­de­pen­dent spoke with the heads of three wa­ter polo clubs: San Gil­jan ASC, Ex­iles and Sliema Pitch.

Daniel Aquilina, Pres­i­dent of San Gil­jan ASC said that dam­age pre­vented the team from reach­ing the pitch, along with a com­pletely flooded com­mit­tee room, damaged bath­rooms, miss­ing iron rail­ings, dam­age to a stone bar­be­cue struc­ture, dam­age to a room that is used for club mem­o­ra­bilia and miss­ing flood lights.

“The sea broke through the ma­sonry,” he said.

Par­quet floor­ing re­cently in­stalled at the club has also been com­pletely re­moved by the storm.

Mr Aquilina said that the dam­age is so ex­ten­sive that it is cur­rently in­es­timable. Asked whether the club will ask for a pool to be built in order to mit­i­gate dam­age caused to the open sea wa­ter polo pitch, he said that in­quiries have been made but it fund­ing re­mains an is­sue.

He said that when a north­east­ern storm takes hold, the club ex­pe­ri­ences ex­ten­sive dam­age. He called for a break wa­ter to be in­stalled in order to mit­i­gate the heavy dam­ages cre­ated by such a storm.

Any club mem­bers who wish to do­nate money to help fix the dam­age caused by the storm are urged to do so, and may do so through a bank trans­fer at BOV bank ac­count num­ber: MT91VALL22013000000011805 010022 or by cheque ad­dressed to San Gil­jan ASC, PO Box 63, St Ju­lians.

Pres­i­dent of the Ex­iles Sports Club An­drew Paris said that his club ex­pe­ri­enced dam­age in the bar – im­pact­ing some kitchen equip­ment, coun­ters and cre­at­ing struc­tural dam­age. He said there was also dam­age to sports equip­ment, ta­bles, chairs and a num­ber of goal posts. Asked about whether he feels a break wa­ter should be in­stalled, Mr Paris said that the Aquatic Sports As­so­ci­a­tion of Malta is look­ing at call­ing an ur­gent coun­cil meet­ing to see what can be done.

This meet­ing will take place to­mor­row at 6pm.

Mr Paris said Ex­iles Sports Club was worse off five years ago when a sim­i­lar storm hit, but the in­stal­la­tion of a wall to partly shel­ter the bar mit­i­gated much of the dam­age.

He said that the cost of the dam­ages runs in the re­gion of €20,000.

“It is a con­stant bat­tle against the ele­ments,” he said.

Lastly, Dr Frank Testa, pres­i­dent of the Sliema Pitch wa­ter polo club said that ev­ery wooden struc­ture around the pitch was com­pletely damaged, the ter­race around the kids’ pool area is gone, three stain­less steel lad­ders have van­ished, as well as three pieces of iron rail­ing.

With re­gard to the elec­tri­cal fit­tings, he said that besides the fact that most of the lights are gone, noth­ing that uses elec­tric­ity is work­ing. He ex­plained that the room which holds the main cir­cuit got com­pletely flooded, there­fore it could be that all wiring needs to be re­done. Should this be the case, he said the cost of the dam­age would be enor­mous.

The main store was also flooded, he said, with 150 new sun beds in­side. Dr Testa said that should these new sun beds need to be re­placed, which is highly likely, that would cost the club €20,000 alone.

He also said that all com­put­ers need re­plac­ing and the tiling of the chil­dren’s pool needs to be re­done. The cost of the dam­age could po­ten­tially reach €100,000.

Pho­tos: Michael Camil­leri

Ex­iles Pitch

San Gil­jan Pitch

Sliema Pitch

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