To have three finalists at the Gozo Sports Awards is further proof of the positive contribution that the Redcoats are making towards the development of sport on the island
The outstanding achievements of the Ghajnsielem Redcoats during the course of 2017 did not go unnoticed with the sporting community in Gozo. The Redcoats excelled on and off the field. The successful implementation of the first part of the Erasmus+ Sports: Small Collaborative Partnerships project Inclusion & Gender Equality Through Softball (IGETS) and the performances of the two softball teams in the MABS Fastpitch Softball Tournament with one of the teams winning it, got the Ghajnsielem Redcoats nominations in three categories for the 4th edition of the Gozo Sports Awards. These awards, which have now become standard in the sporting calendar of the island, are intended to honour the achievements of Gozitans during the course of 2017.
Ghajnsielem Redcoats President, Joseph Scicluna, who is the project coordinator for IGETS, is the finalist in the Official of the Year award. The Erasmus+ Sports project has elevated the standing of the club locally and internationally especially with the governing bodies of the sport, the European Softball Federation (ESF) and the World Baseball & Softball Confederation (WBSC). The Redcoats also managed to develop several important contacts in the world of softball and established strong relationships with leading clubs in Europe as well as in the United States thanks to the exposure from IGETS.
In order to increase the rate of participation in sports, especially among girls, and to improve the physical literacy of students, Joseph Scicluna has been doing weekly sports sessions at the Ghajnsielem Primary School on a voluntary bases for four scholastic years. During the course of 2017 two sessions per week were held in support of the IGETS project and these sessions were extended to other schools in Gozo. In 2017, Joseph also launched the Softball in Schools initiative in collaboration with the Education Department. Thanks to this initiative a softball coaching course was held for PE teachers from Malta and Gozo in June so that they would be able to teach softball during their regular PE classes.
Also remarkable was the decision to field two teams for the MABS Women’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament 2017 in order to give the opportunity to more players to experience competitive softball at the highest level in Malta. Despite spreading the talent of the club between two teams, both did really well with one team winning the tournament. This is a clear indication, not just of the depth of the squad, but also of the talent available on the team which has an average age of just around 17 years. Despite their age, they participate in the women’s competitions against players much older than them and still do very well.
For these reason the Women’s Fastpitch Softball team of the Redcoats is also a finalist in the Team of the Year category. This is the second time the Women’s softball team is one of the finalists. A key member of this team is also a finalist.
Estelle Scicluna, the starting pitcher of the fastpitch softball team is gradually developing into a fine softball player. For the second year in a row she was the most valuable player of the MABS Fastpitch Softball Tournament which her team won. Despite her age she is already considered the best pitcher in Malta and one of the best overall softball players. She also led her team with runs scored and runs batted in. She also had the most assists. Estelle’s contribution to the club and to the sport is not limited to her abilities as a player, she also volunteers as a coach with the minors of the club. She is a finalist in the Most Promising Female Athlete category.
During a ceremony held last Saturday at the Ministry for Gozo, Gozo Minister, Hon Dr Justyne Caruana, presented certificates to all the finalist in each category. The awards ceremony will be held on Friday, April 20, at the Grand Hotel.
It is a great honour for the Club to have three finalists at the Gozo Sports Awards. It is further proof of the positive contribution the Redcoats are making towards the development of sport on the island.