Malta offers a wide variety of sporting acilities. Many of the larger hotels, aware of the current trend towards health and fitness, have recently added gyms and other facilities for the use of their guests. Facilities often include tennis courts, squash courts, weight rooms and saunas. Most hotels also offer water sports facilities, including scuba diving, water skiing, windsurfing and sailing.
The Marsa SportsClub has some of the best facilities on the island. This large sports centre is about 4 km (2,5 miles) south of Valletta and lists among its numerous features, an 18-hole golf course, miniature golf, 18 tennis courts, 5 squash courts, cricket grounds and a swimming pool. Tourists can join the club on a weekly basis during their vacation in Malta. For full details contact the Club Secretary, Tel.: 243 809 and 243464. Located near the Club are a horse track, polo grounds, as well as soccer and rugby fields.
The Union Club in Sliema (Tel.: 332011) offers tennis courts, squash courts and the use of its beach facilities at Tigne.
Many hotels are equipped with tennis courts for use by their guests.
The golf course is located at the Marsa Sports Club (Tel.: 242842). Non-members are welcome, and clubs can be rented at the facility.
Squash can also be played at the Marsa Sports Club and at other various clubs and hotels.
Malta offers some of the best scuba diving conditions and instruction in the world. Many water sports centers and diving schools offer lessons and scuba diving equipment rentals. Their addresses and locations are available from the Malta National Tourism Organization, Valletta (Tel.: 224444/2382823 or from the Malta National Tourist Office in New York Tel: (212) 2136686.
Windsurfing boards can be rented at practically every major beach in Malta. Windsurfing is a very well established sport in Malta. Two international competitions, the Sicily-Malta Windsurfing Race in May and the International Open Class Boardsailing Championships in September, attract contestants of international caliber.
SAILING AND YACHTING
Sailing regattas are held regularly between April and November. These include the Comino Regatta in June, the Malta-Syracuse race for keelboats in July and the Rimini-Malta-Rimini Yacht race in August. Good facilities for boat rentals and yacht charters exist throughout the island. The Marina in Ta'Xbiex is welI-established for stern-to-quay accommodation and the construction of new marinas is ongoing.
The Valletta Yacht Club at Manoel Island (Tel.: 3311313 will be pleased to advise interested parties about yacht charter available as well as on the details about local and international competitions in the Malta area.
This sport is available at Golden Sands, Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay, Qawra, St. George's Bay and St. Julian's.
Soccer ("Football" in Malta) is the country's most popular sport. The season begins in September and runs through May, when the league championships are held as well as other competitions. The National Stadium at Ta'Qali, recently constructed, has been the venue of many international competitions. The local Football Association Headquarters are in Valletta, Tel.: 222697.
Maltese lawn howling, "Bocci", is very popular at the local level, and one can play it in most villages. One can also contact the Federation of Lawn Bowling (Bocci) 55, Sisters Street, Tarxien (Tel.: 69 67 87).
TEN PIN BOWLING
A ten pin bowling alley is open all week at St. George's Bay, St. Julian's (Tel.: 341191).
There are several riding schools in the area near the Marsa race track. Some hotels too offer horse-riding facilities.
Horse racing is Malta's top spectator sport. Races are held every Sunday, between October and May. Right to nine races are held, all trotter, except for one flat race. The race track is located in Marsa.
CLAY PIGEON / SKEET SHOOTING
This is a very popular sport in Malta with competitive / practice shootings taking place on Sunday mornings. Those who have an interest in participating should contact the Secretary at the Shooting Federation, P.O. Box 340 Valletta, Tel.: 444747 / 4455 66.
Archery is organized by the Malta Archery Federation (Tel.: 244351) at the Marsa Sports Club. The International Archery Tournament is held in April.
RUNNING / ATHLETICS
The Malta Marathon is held in mid-February and attracts several long distance runners from around the world. A ladies' half-marathon is run concurrently. The Malta A.A.A. also organizes a great number of events such as road races, cross country races and track and field events culminating in the Athletic Championships at the Marsa Stadium Track in May.
OTHER SPORT FACILITIES
In addition to the previously mentioned sports, Malta boasts a wide selection of other sporting events sponsored by the National Associations, including Judo, Basketball, Cycling, Table Tennis, Hockey, Waterpolo, Swimming, Wrestling and more.
For further information contact the Malta Olympic Committee 138 C, St. Christopher Str., Valletta (Tel.: 241382 / 3).