Anne Marie Bugeja will be the first ever Special Olympics Malta athlete to be admitted in the National Sports College of Malta, a very important achievement for the young talented gymnast.
“The Vodafone Malta Foundation has been supporting Special Olympics Malta since it’s very beginning and we believe that it is very important for children with learning difficulties to be encouraged to live a meaningful and independent life, breaking down barriers in the community and encouraging social interaction between children” said Roberta Pace, Administrator at Vodafone Malta Foundation. “We wish Anne Marie all the best of luck in achieving what she most truly desires.”
At a very young age, Anne Marie had already achieved great results with the Special Olympics Malta Gymnastics team. Her first experience in an international competition was at the Special Olympics Romania regional games in 2010 where she had won four gold medals in the beam, floor, vault and unified exercises. In 2011 she participated in the Special Olympics World Games in Greece and had brought home an astonishing total of five medals, gold in the floor exercises, silver as an all-rounder and three bronze medals in the beam, vault and bars exercises. At this competition Anne Marie was eight years old and the youngest participating athlete from all over the world. Anne Marie is currently training hard to qualify for the next Special Olympics Summer European Games that will be held in Belgium in 2014.
“For Special Olympics Malta, this is a dream come true. We noticed the potential in this young Athlete, believed in her abilities and together with her parents worked hard to break a barrier that had not been broken before. We hope that this will serve as a message to all the parents to believe in the abilities of their children from an early stage and give them the opportunity to develop their talents. We also hope that other Athletes will follow Anne Marie’s example and never give up on their dreams.”
Thanks to the support of organisations like the Vodafone Malta Foundation, young children such as Anne Marie can now benefit from the National Sports College of Malta, a first in Malta, where sports training and academic education coexist harmoniously. This way, students who have the potential of succeeding in a sporting discipline will be given greater opportunities to specialise in sport from a young age, without missing out on the normal academic studies provided in secondary schools. The main aim of the National Sport School, St. Benedict’s in Kirkop is to lead students to a dual career path, namely an education which ensures success in sport as well as in working life.