TM’s Ryan at the Pisa Half Marathon

A new personal record

A few weeks ago, Ryan Spiteri from Transport Malta’s Small Ships Register participated in Pisa’s Half marathon. The Authority supported Ryan’s venture in a bid to encourage more employees in engaging in sports activities and thus help enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

The following is Ryan’s account of his participation.

Following my newly set record at the Żurrieq Half Marathon in November (1:32:23), I had decided that my next goal would be that of not only clocking a better half marathon time but to also achieve a milestone I had always desired in my running career; beating the 1h30m mark. With that in mind, I signed up for the Pisa Half Marathon and got back to the grindstone, training hard to attain this coveted result.

Although the last edition was characterised by considerably cold conditions, this year, the sun was shining bright on the historic town of Pisa. On race day, the conditions turned out to be more favourable than expected, giving me a much needed mental boost to stay focused, to pace myself and ensure optimal hydration and nutrition while racing. Up to the 18km mark, I had managed to maintain a steady 4:17/km pace and prospects of finishing the race in under 1h30 were promising. However, as I got closer to the city centre, time was ticking and I still could not see the renowned leaning tower where the finish line stood.

I could picture myself crossing the finish line to find out that I had missed the target by a mere few seconds. That is when I dug deep for what energy I had left and pushed through the last 2-3km at the fastest pace I could muster. After a series of corners along the streets of Pisa, there was the finish line, with the clock seconds away from turning 1:30:00. I sprinted for the last few metres, only to collapse in the finish area. The first aid team on site, coincidentally the Ordine di Malta, immediately took me under their care and left me under observation in their rescue tent.

While recovering, I was pleased to find out, from my personal watch readings, that although the race was slightly longer than the official half marathon distance, I had still managed to make it past the finish line in 1:29:59, a new personal record.

Later I found out that my official time was 1:29:55.

The celebrations were unfortunately soon marred by the unfortunate news of an athlete’s tragic passing. Another Maltese runner, also named Ryan, lost his life whilst dining with his friends a few metres away from the finish line.

Whilst I thank the Chairman’s office, my close friends and colleagues for their concerns at the time, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the Tonna family and all of my colleagues who during this festive season instead of celebrating, are grieving the loss of someone dear to them.

Next on the TM Athletics Calendar is the next race in the 5K Road Running Series taking place in Gozo on Wednesday 29th January 2020. Moreover, in June 2020 I will be joining my fellow athletes, Norbert Grech and Gianella Bugeja Persiano to represent Transport Malta at the 2020 Athens World Company Games.

Transport Malta employee suspended

In the past hours, Transport Malta has suspended one of its employees, following a witness deposition given in court earlier today, during the proceedings in relation to the murder of Mrs Caruana Galizia.

The suspension is effective immediately.

TM teams in Super League Triathlon

A team from Transport Malta participated in the Super League Triathlon events held in Malta last month. They managed to rank fourth out of fourteen teams in the Corporate Enduro Event, missing the podium by just a few seconds. The Authority sponsored their participation.

What is the Super League Triathlon?

The event was first organised in 2017 and has become one of the most rated events in triathlon circles, attracting the best athletes from around the globe. Around 60 professional athletes took part, a number of whom with a very enviable trophy collection. Apart from the main races, athletes and newcomers to the sport compete in a number of other events. One of which is the corporate enduro, where our team competed.

The Corporate Enduro

The race consists of a 300m swim, a bike segment of 5 km and a run of 1.5km. This whole sequence is repeated another time. Each segment is run by a different athlete, relay style.

Karl Galea kicked off the race for TM’s team with the first swim, starting off well with the fourth time and handing the baton to Ryan Spiteri on the bike who placed third in his first segment. Dale Hamilton took over with the first run segment and handed the baton over to Ryan once again, who barely had time to rest before diving in for the second swim of the race. Carl Xuereb took over for the next bike segment with Norbert Grech ending our team’s race with the final run. Our team completed the race in 39 minutes and 14 seconds, 44 seconds behind the last spot on the podium.

After the race, all athletes remarked about the intensity of the race. It was a relatively short race but raced at intense speeds. There was no time for relenting or catching up, they had to push all the way, all the time. This is one of the selling factors of this series. It aims for intense races, improving the spectators’ experience and thus making the sport more popular.

The team that won the corporate enduro was led by Chris McCormack himself, one of endurance sport’s most iconic athletes, widely regarded as the best triathlete of his generation. He is Australian, won 250 international races and the Ironman World Championship twice. He also won an edition of the International Triathlon Union World Cup Series, the Triathlon World Championship and the Long Distance World Championship.

The Corporate Enduro team

Ryan Spiteri

Ryan is part of TM’s sports social committee and was one of the main protagonists in forming TM’s team. He had participated in the event last year, loved it and decided to go in with a whole team this year.

Ryan has been regularly competing in triathlon races for the past five years. He used to play rugby before. He trains all days of the week except one with a session in the morning and one in the evening.

Karl Galea

Karl was a successful Waterpolo player who played the game for 25 years. He used to train between 10 and 15 hours each week. He retired four years ago but came back from retirement to compete with TM’s team.

Dale Hamilton

Dale started running as a sport around four years ago. At first, he decided to take the plunge to lose some weight but soon got hooked and now he claims he’s addicted. He trains four times each week. “The satisfaction you feel after completing each race is great. The satisfaction is even greater when you manage to improve your time,” he claimed.

Carl Xuereb

Carl is a cyclist who competes in the national road cycling races and championships. He has been in the sport for 12 years and trains for about two hours every single day. The sport, he says, motivates him to be a better version of himself, it allows him to dedicate his resources wisely and to live a healthier lifestyle.

Norbert Grech

Norbert practised running since he was very young. He had to stop, only to restart again a few years ago. He trains for around two hours every single day. He claims that besides the enormous satisfaction you gain when practising this sport, you become more disciplined and your personality improves by leaps and bounds.

Besides the corporate enduro race, three Transport Malta employees competed in the 5Km run.

The 5km run team

Liz Markham

Liz is another social committee member who helped in organising TM’s participation. She took part in a number of competitive races and completed the half marathon three times in the past four years. She picked up running since she could do it anywhere at her own leisure. She loves the sport since it helps her meet people with a passion for running from all walks of life.

Mark Farrugia

Mark has also been enjoying the sports of running for the past three years. He claims it makes him stronger and helps him forget all the difficulties life brings about. It also allows him to eat more than he otherwise would. He trains six times a week, around eight hours in all.

Liam Reno Gatt

Liam is a football player for the local club Melita F.C. He has been playing the game since he was six years old. He trains at least 4 to 5 times each week. Playing football helps him with his attitude in life, “I never want to lose and I never give up”.

All athletes speak very highly of an active lifestyle. They encourage everyone to give it a go. Get some guidance and you will not regret it. They all look forward to the same event next year and possibly other opportunities throughout the year.

If you are interested in such events or are considering to take the plunge, get in touch with Transport Malta’s sport social committee on sports.committee.tm@transport.gov.mt

International Conference on Cargo handling in Malta

International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) is holding a conference in Malta. Minister Dr Ian Borg and Mr Joseph Bugeja, Transport Malta’s Chairperson and CEO were among the first speakers. The Malta Freeport is hosting this conference with the theme vision 20/20. The conference is discussing new rules and new technology in the world of cargo. The delegates from 23 different countries are discussing how to make cargo handling safer, cleaner and more efficient.

Connecting Transport Malta with the I-gaming Industry

Transport Malta supported by the GamingMalta Foundation and iGEN (iGaming European Network) hosted representatives of the iGaming industry in its offices in Ħal Lija. Through the networking event, the Authority started a process of outreach with the ex-pat community to, on one side learn from the different commuting experiences and solutions explored abroad and on the other, it was an opportunity for Transport Malta to highlight its ongoing programmes, future plans and initiatives.

The Authority had the opportunity to better understand the commuting needs and expectations of residents in Malta who form part of the fast-growing industry. During the session, through a series of video clips, Top executives from the industry described the reasons behind their commuting choices while on the island. The focus was on sustainable transport with executives opting to choose public transport, bicycles and even walking over the private car. 

The executives put forward a number of suggestions, borrowed from the best practices, they experienced elsewhere. Representatives from the I-gaming industry, officials from Transport Malta and the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects exchanged ideas on Public Transport, sustainable transport and road safety.

Transport Malta is organising future similar events both with the iGEN industry, other industries and stakeholders.

iGEN is an association of leading iGaming companies based in Malta and operating in European and international markets. Our mission is to give the industry a common voice and to drive positive change in the environments we operate in.

Contract to develop the new National Maritime Single Window

Transport Malta has signed a contract with Actual IT, a Slovenian IT firm, for the development of a new National Maritime Single Window.

The new web-based portal will improve the interface and facilitate reporting between local maritime stakeholders, including Government agencies, ship operators, ship agents, service providers and terminals.

It will introduce the system to system data exchange and single point reporting, greatly reducing the administrative burden on the ships and ship agents, simplifying the process and increasing efficiency.

In 2018 Transport Malta’s Ports and Yachting Directorate, handled over 12, 000 international ship calls, around 5000 of which rendered services at anchorages outside ports.

Actual IT has a vast experience in the development of port management systems. The platform they will develop will help Transport Malta meet the ship reporting regulations as mandated by International and EU obligations.

Public Service Garage Sector Reform – Public Consultation Begins

Today, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg announced the launch of a Public Consultation about a reform in the public service garage sector.

“I often speak about and stress the importance of multimodality, and how important it is to consider all available options to move from one place to another. In these last two years, our country has taken great strides with regard to available transport systems. Today we have a much better public transport service, popular schemes for the purchase of small sustainable vehicles, sharing and carpooling services, and we have just announced that we are also regulating the use and rental of a smaller means of transport, that of the e-kickscooters,” said Minister Ian Borg.

He said that this spirit of positive change is also evident in the way road infrastructure is being implemented, with several facilities for pedestrians and alternative means.

The Hon. Borg said that in the past years we have also seen substantial growth in chauffeur services, while we continued to witness the use of temporary car rental services. He said that the need was therefore felt to update existing legislation to reflect our times.

“I asked Transport Malta to see that this legislation moves with the times so that we can continue regularising this market. We are speaking about a reform that looks at important objectives, that ensures that operators have a level playing field, that prioritises service quality and safety. This is a reform that will also make space for better competition and more accessible service, that will consider the technology available today,” said the Hon. Borg.

He said that the Authority will be welcoming the public’s comments about this reform and looked ahead to a high-quality policy for this sector as well.

“We will continue legislating and we will continue working and striving on. We want to ensure that the market has a clear framework to follow and we believe we are taking a very positive step today. Our objective remains to continue improving the quality of life of the people and thus we will keep on taking decisions towards this aim,” concluded the Minister.

The document and the public consultation space can be accessed here:

Broken Wings

Colonel Mark Said, from Transport Malta’s Civil Aviation Directorate, presented a book, he has just published, to Transport Malta’s Chairman, Mr Joseph Bugeja. The book, Broken Wings compiles information on all documented Aviation related accidents in Malta between the years 1915 and 2015.

From the book cover –

Broken Wings encompasses more than thirty years of research, and charts Malta’ s first aviation century from a different perspective. This book is a comprehensive chronological record of every civilian and military aviation accident and incident with a Malta connection. It is the most detailed work of its type ever published with thousands of entries and is sure to become the standard reference on the subject. Broken Wings is the story of aviation in Malta from the early biplanes to the modern jets, the men and their flying machines, tragedies and mistakes, and on occasions the ones lost or left behind. This book is dedicated to each and every one of them.

Organ Donation at Transport Malta

A number of Transport Malta personnel attended an information meeting on organ donation and registered for this noble aim.

Driving Theory Tests resume

Driving licence theory tests will resume as from Tuesday 30 April 2019 at the new premises located at 114, Gwardamangia Hill, Pieta`, just opposite the previous office.

Transport Malta had taken immediate action to establish new premises to ensure the least inconvenience following the collapse of block of apartments in Gwardamanġa last week. The Authority had temporarily suspended the driving licence theory tests since the theory testing centre formed part of the block.

May we remind the public that the opening hours are:

Theory Test Centre 

114

Gwardamangia Hill

Pieta

Tel: 21 227 190

Opening hours
Winter Schedule – 1st October till 30th June
Opening hours                             Exam Schedule
Monday – 8:00 till 16:00Tuesday – 8:00 till 16:00Wednesday – 8:00 till 18:00Thursday – 8:00 till 16:00                          Friday – 8:00 till 14:00Monday – 8:00 till 15:00Tuesday – 8:00 till 15:00Wednesday – 11:00 till 17:00Thursday – 8:00 till 15:00Friday – 8:00 till 13:00
Summer Schedule – 1st July till 30th September
Opening hours                             Exam Schedule
Monday – 8:00 till 13:00                            Tuesday – 8:00 till 16:00                            Wednesday – 8:00 till 16:00         Thursday – 8:00 till 13:00                                      Friday – 8:00 till 13:00                              Monday – 8:00 till 12:00Tuesday – 8:00 till 15:00Wednesday – 11:00 till 17:00Thursday – 8:00 till 12:00Friday – 8:00 till 12:00

*On Monday once every fortnight the Theory Test Centre is closed, since Theory Tests are held in Gozo