Over 1,000 ap­pli­cants for the 19th Ex­press Trail­ers Zur­rieq events

Malta Independent - - SPORT | CLASSIFIEDS -

The 19th edi­tion of the Ex­press Trail­ers Zur­rieq HM, 10km Run & 10km Walk due to­mor­row has at­tracted over 1,000 lo­cal and for­eign ap­pli­cants con­firm­ing the event as one of the top run­ning events on the is­land.

“This event is a clear ex­am­ple how at lo­cal level, Lo­cal Coun­cils can col­lab­o­rate with or­gan­i­sa­tions to sup­port and con­trib­ute to­wards the growth of events that strength­ens a lo­cal­ity’s iden­tity. In fact, the south­ern vil­lage of Zur­rieq, usu­ally known by tourists for its sea and the Blue Grotto has now added this es­tab­lished sports event in its an­nual cal­en­dar. The Zur­rieq Lo­cal Coun­cil is there­fore proud of its im­por­tant role in see­ing this event grow since its in­cep­tion 19 years ago which up to four years ago, used to at­tract just about 130 ath­letes,” said Dino Bon­nici, Zur­rieq Lo­cal Coun­cil mem­ber dur­ing a press con­fer­ence held at the Lo­cal Coun­cil’s of­fices in Zur­rieq.

Whilst con­firm­ing the Lo­cal Coun­cil’s com­mit­ment to keep sup­port­ing events that pro­mote a health­ier life­style amongst the lo­cal­ity’s residents, Dino Bon­nici took the op­por­tu­nity to thank the Zur­rieq Wolves Ath­let­ics Club for the ster­ling work done in the pre­vi­ous years and the Malta Marathon Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee and Ex­press Trail­ers whose sup­port has taken this event up to an­other level.

Joe Mi­callef, the or­gan­iser of the event, noted how over the past few years, there has been an im­por­tant shift in the pat­tern of race ap­pli­cants. He said: “One of the most im­por­tant things that we have been notic­ing in our or­gan­ised road run­ning events is that many peo­ple start par­tic­i­pat­ing in walks and then they feel eas­ily en­cour­aged to take up run­ning. In fact, the amount of peo­ple who are tak­ing part in the Ex­press Trail­ers Zur­rieq 10km Walk is grad­u­ally de­creas­ing and the amount of those ap­ply­ing for the run are in­creas­ing, a trend be­ing no­ticed across most of our races. This is very pos­i­tive be­cause it means that more peo­ple are be­ing en­cour­aged to be­come more ac­tive.”

Franco Az­zopardi, Chair­man and CEO of Ex­press Trail­ers ad­dressed the press con­fer­ence about the com­pany’s role in see­ing this event grow and be­come a ma­jor event in Malta’s road race cal­en­dar.

He added: “We have al­ways be­lieved in the im­por­tance of sports as a holis­tic way of self-devel­op­ment. At Ex­press Trail­ers we en­cour­age our own peo­ple to prac­tice sport and we do have a num­ber of em­ploy­ees who are suc­cess­ful members of sports clubs. Be­sides sup­port­ing our em­ploy­ees’ in­volve­ment in sport how­ever, we also look at such prom­i­nent ac­tiv­i­ties such as this Ex­press Trail­ers Half Marathon and 10km Run and Walk.

“We recog­nise the fact that our op­er­a­tions are mainly based on road trans­port and as such, our fleet of trucks and trail­ers put a bur­den on all other road users, most notably the more vul­ner­a­ble ones such as run­ners and cy­clists. Our spon­sor­ship of this race which takes place on our roads is one way to seek to re­dress the bal­ance.”

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