Malta’s parliamentary secretary for sports has replied to questions by Lovin Malta about controversial comments on outdoor gym facilities made by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg yesterday.
Brushing off criticism about the poor level of maintenance and the lack of professional exercise equipment being used in outdoor spaces, Borg said yesterday: “Whoever wants to go to the gym should pay a membership and go to a gym.”
His comments sparked a strong reaction online with many fitness enthusiasts pointing out that they could not visit gyms anymore due to the ongoing pandemic. Many also said they could not afford a gym membership either.
Lovin Malta sought the reaction of Clifton Grima, the junior minister for sports, to see whether he agreed with Borg that professional outdoor facilities should not be invested in because people who wanted a gym could simply get a membership.
He was also asked whether he saw any opportunity for sports tourism and the encouragement of better national health through such fitness infrastructure.
“No one ever stated that outdoor sport facilities are not worth investing in,” a spokesman for Grima said.
“On the contrary, Government is investing heavily to assist local councils to improve open area facilities including outdoor gyms to promote the practice of sport and physical activity.”
“The Parliamentary Secretariat is glad that work done by those involved in this sector is finally leading to a change in perspective of sports which is now starting to be considered an integral part of our lives,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, PN spokesman for sports Clyde Puli took to Facebook yesterday to say that Nationalist administrations began to open the first outdoor gym facilities around 12 years ago to encourage a sporting culture.
“If this experiment worked and technology has advanced, I think it would be good for the Maltese public to make this investment,” he said.
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