2020 has been one heck of a year, what with the pandemic, social distancing, closure of businesses and the postponement of the first ever Olympic Games to feature sport climbing. The Malta Climbing Club was not exempt from these extraordinary circumstances, and subsequently the club had to postpone its AGM slated for the end of March.
As the year progressed it became clear that hosting an in-person AGM as demanded by the statute would be impossible; which led to the Executive Committee organising the Malta Climbing Club’s first ever online AGM on the 14th of October.
What follows is a brief summary of the salient points raised during the AGM.
The meeting opened with the reading of the previous year’s AGM minutes and a brief statement about the extraordinary circumstances under which the AGM for 2020 was being held online.
This was followed by the President’s report which highlighted the club’s activities throughout 2019:
- Use of the Scouts’ indoor climbing wall in Sliema continued throughout 2019, with the addition of a campus board and holds and volumes. These were built by (former) club Secretary Christopher Sella and Chris Cassar.
- The main development at the indoor bouldering wall was the purchase of international standard floor mats from Entreprises.
- Kids Zone continued to be one of the most popular activities of the club, with three groups of 10 children attending hour-long sessions between 4pm and 7pm every Tuesday at the Sliema climbing wall during school term. During the summer months Kids Zone shifts to the outdoors so that our budding climbers can experience real rock.
- Kids Zone is run on an entirely voluntary basis, generally relying on keen parents to help out with supervision. As always, anyone wishing to volunteer to help with the sessions is welcome!
- In 2019 the club organised 23 outdoor club meets throughout the year. These outdoor meets are at the heart of the club’s community, and are used to fulfil our goal of making climbing easily accessible to anyone keen to have a go.
Besides the outdoor club meets, the club also organised three workshops covering the basics of top anchors, belaying and lead climbing. These workshops serve as a way of training our new members in the fundamentals of rope work and safe climbing techniques and practises.
- The club held its annual Barbarossa DWS boat trip on the 4th of August.
- The club provided equipment and tools for the bolting of two “new” crags – Blind Cave, limits of Għargħur, and Elephant’s Head, NW Gozo. Topos for these new crags were published on this website and on social media channels, or are in the process of being published.
- 2019 marked the first time ever that the MCC was represented at an international climbing competition – the club supported and obtained sponsorship for promising young athlete Zack Xuereb to travel to the Scottish Youth Championships. He was accompanied by former Team USA climber Miura Hawkins as his coach.
- The MCC hosted the UIAA Spring Meetings 2019 in Malta. These meetings convened the Executive Board, Management Committee and various Commissions of the UIAA. The MCC was supported by the MTA/Visit Malta / Conventions Malta in hosting these meetings. Over 100 delegates visited the Maltese islands and several of them had a chance to experience the local climbing scene, with visits to places such as Wied il-Għasel, Wied ta’ Mġarr ix-Xini, Red Wall and Mellieħa Cave, which was only a short walk away from the delegates’ hotel.
- The club participated in two international conferences: the UIAA General Assembly and the EUMA General Assembly, both of which events were held back-to-back in Larnaca, Cyprus.
- The MCC made contact with various local entities and organisations throughout the year to discuss climbing and its impact on the local environment, and on ways in which climbers can help safeguard the environment. These entities include the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA); BirdLife Malta, and GreenhouseMT.
Bernard Abela, club Treasurer, presented the Financial Report for 2019. It was noted that the club’s finances are in very good health for 2019.
Executive Committee Updates
The final part of the AGM was dedicated to re-electing the Executive Committee. In 2020 Christopher Sella and Inigo Taylor resigned their positions on the EC for personal reasons. On the other hand, current EC members Bernard Abela, Simon Alden and Stephen Farrugia resigned their positions after presenting the AGM and club finances as their two-year term had expired.
Nominations for the new Executive Committee were received from Bernard Abela, Simon Alden, Zach Cassar, Edward Duca and Stephen Farrugia. All five were automatically appointed to the committee as per the club’s Statute, and will serve on the committee until 2022.
Executive Committee roles will be assigned once the EC hold their first official meeting in the coming days.
Whilst Bernard, Simon and Stephen are club stalwarts and need no introduction, here’s a little info about our two new Executive Committee members Zach and Edward:
Zach Cassar, Age: 24. Occupation: Marketing & Sales
Experience: One and a half years, nearly two.
Favourite Climb: Every one of the climbs I’ve been on has given me a memorable experience so can’t really pick a favourite. I do have to say that I’ll always remember Blind Cave as it was the first time I lead a route.
Edward Duca, age 37. Job / Occupation Lecturer, Festival manager, Magazine editor-in-chief
How long have you been rock climbing? nearly a year
Favourite climb? I love the Wied il-Mielah area in Gozo, nothing like abseiling down a giant arch of rock, then climbing up the 30 seconds to sunset route, makes for great photos as well! Fruitcake Land was another impeccable climb. I remember being surrounded by kayaks urging me on at the start of the climb. It was my first sea cliff climb—stunning.
Any paid up club members wishing to access the full minutes and reports can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of these documents.