The protagonists for this yearâ€™s opening for the Puttinu Cares Football Marathon, which is backed by the Malta Football Association, were the National Womenâ€™s U19â€™s and Special Olympics team. They were involved in a match of unified football which is an inclusive initiative open to people of all ages, from youth to adults, where Special Olympics players play together with mainstream club players.
The President of Malta kicked off with Master Scardino, a ten-year-old boy at Rainbow Ward. There was an atmosphere of enjoyment throughout as the players conversed while on the bench waiting for their coaches call.
MFA vice-president Ludovico Micallef presented Puttinu with the national team vest of our Under 17â€™s and a football signed by the womenâ€™s national team players.
Puttinu Cares was formed in 2002. The character, Puttinu is an angel created by Mt. Philip Farrugia Randon. He was sent from heaven to take care of Toninu, a Maltese boy. The first project of the group was to add colour to the dull ward in the old St. Lukeâ€™s Hospital. Then it worked hard to provide financial assistance to families of little cancer patients who had to travel to the UK for treatment, in most cases overnight. Since then it has grown to support cancer patients being treated at Rainbow Ward and abroad. Moreover, with the acquisition and rebuilding of another block of 12 apartments in Sutton last year it can now offer accommodation to more Maltese families who need to travel for treatment to UK.
Nobody can testify to what Puttinu Cares is really doing more than the families who are willing to share their experiences.
Over the past years, the Puttinu Cares Committee met many families who are facing big challenges. In order to extend its help further, Puttinu Cares is now opening new branches and recruiting volunteers to help individual cases. All this is possible only because Puttinu Cares has the backing of the Maltese people and their tireless generosity.
In the final reckoning one must say that the Malta Football Association has always been in the forefront in supporting initiatives for a worthy cause.
The 10th edition of the Puttinu Cares Football Marathon is a case in point.
Article by: Mark Attard
Photos by: Domenic Aquilina
Malta Football Association