05.07.11 Arrigo & sons continue to sponsor SUFC
The list of beneficiaries from Robert Arrigo’s annual sponsorship bon-anza just gets longer and longer.
A total of 12 sports clubs and organisations yesterday received a cheque from the former Sliema Wanderers FC president and Nationalist MP who, in the words of the majority of the officials attending the news conference at the offices of Robert Arrigo and Sons in St Julian’s, not only assists them financially but also supports their endeavours to improve facilities and administration.
Sliema Wanderers secured the largest share of Arrigo’s sponsorship cake which encompasses a wide spectrum of sport, namely football, futsal, basketball, rugby union, boċċi and pool.
“We have increased our yearly contribution to the clubs and organisations who promote sport in their localities,” Arrigo said.
“Apart from the football clubs of Sliema, Għargħur, Gżira United, San Ġwann, Swieqi United and a Gżira-based futsal team, we are also supporting Athleta Basketball Club, who were very successful last season , Stompers Rugby Club, who have linked up with Sliema Wan-derers, and the boċċi clubs of Gżira and Msida,” Arrigo said.
“This year, we have added Life Cycle to our sponsorship family.
“Life Cycle are also connected to sport as the participating cyclists put in a tremendous effort for a noble cause.
“We are also giving a small push to Karen Grech, a Maltese pool player currently taking part in the World Championships.
“I take the opportunity to renew my appeal to small- and medium-sized enterprises to help sport. We as Robert Arrigo and Sons Limited are honoured to support all these sports organisations.”
Arrigo would not reveal the size of his sponsorship budget, saying only “it’s a significant sum”.
“Sports encourages friendship,” Arrigo replied when asked to pinpoint the reasons behind his decision to sponsor so many clubs.
“I believe we should appreciate the time officials dedicate to their clubs on a voluntary basis.
“Furthermore, I love sports. It’s often said that sports helps to keep our youth away from drugs. That’s very true but I also know of cases where sports, with the help of the coaches and clubs, helped youngsters kick away their drug habit and that to me, is the best satisfaction one can derive from supporting sports.”
Steve Abela, the man who succeeded Arrigo as president of the Wanderers, thanked his prede-cessor for his unwavering backing.
“In my first season as Sliema president, Robert Arrigo expressed his willingness to keep helping the club as main sponsor.
“Mr Arrigo has been our chief financial backer for the past four years and we can’t thank him enough for his support.
“As far as Sliema Wanderers’ objectives are concerned, we’re always striving to have a competitive team to challenge for the honours.”
Last season, Sliema endured a dismal campaign as they finished outside the Championship Pool but hopes are high that the Blues will make amends in 2011/12.
“At least we avoided relegation (last season),” Arrigo remarked with a wry smile.
“Participation in European competitions should always be a top priority for Sliema. It’s not always possible to win titles but Sliema’s place is in Europe.
“I remember Edward Aquilina, our former coach, saying that the Sliema shirt is very heavy and it’s not easy for the players to live up to expectations.
“However, I believe that the new coach (Danilo Doncic) has injected new life into the team. Doncic was a winner as a player and he wants to achieve success as coach.
“I think the ingredients are there for a positive season.”
Karl Xuereb, on behalf of Life Cycle, said this year’s gruelling challenge will see riders cover 2,000km from Czech Republic to Sarajevo, in Bosnia, in just 11 days.
The aim of the Life Cycle is to raise funds for patients of the Renal Unit at Mater Dei.
Escalating costs and a lack of sponsorships were a recurring theme in the short speeches of the club officials who all conveyed their gratitude to Arrigo for his “financial and morale” assistance.
Meanwhile, Abela said the club’s committee had intensified its efforts to realise Arrigo’s dream of housing most of Sliema’s sporting clubs under one roof at their new Tigne Complex.
“It was Robert Arrigo’s wish that, once completed, the Tigne Com-plex would become the hub of the Sliema sporting family,” Abela said.
“That’s difficult to implement but we are working towards that goal to fulfill Arrigo’s wish.”
Taken from timesofmalta.com
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