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Car Free DayCar Free Day 2011, to be held this September, is shaping up to be a fun-filled event with activities suitable for the whole family. Nine separate proposals for activities have been selected out of a total of twenty and will ensure that a number of activities are organised on the day. OUTLOOK finds out more.
A number of sponsorships have been awarded to nine project proposals submitted by Local Councils and NGOs in relation to the organisations of activities for Car Free Day 2011. The sponsorships were awarded by Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, the Environment and Culture, Dr. Mario de Marco, and by Parliamentary Secretary for Consumers, Fair Competition, Local Councils and Public Dialogue, Dr. Chris Said.
The nine projects were selected after a call for proposals was issued some weeks back, inviting Local Councils and eNGOs to put their ideas forward. A total of 20 proposals were submitted for evaluation, and included activities such as sporting events related to the promotion of car-free mobility like walking and cycling, cultural and artistic events such as street performances and exhibitions related to the ‘car free’ theme, recreational and leisure activities for families and activities involving children and youths.
The common theme and objective all these activities is to promote the objectives and messages of the Car Free Day initiative. Following extensive evaluation, nine of the best-scoring proposals were selected by an inter-ministerial committee tasked with preparations for the campaign, with the proposals submitted by the Mellieha, Mgarr (Malta), Nadur, Kalkara, Hamrun and Sta. Lucija Local Councils, as well as from NGOs Friends of the Earth, Don Bosco Oratory (Gozo) and Inspire Foundation, being selected.
The Winning Activities
In Mellieha, the Local Council together with a local NGO will be organizing various sports activities throughout Mellieha’s main roads which include a Fun Run, Street Football, Netball and Volleyball. Mellieha Athletics Club and the Mellieha Sports Club will be participating in this activity. The main purpose of this activity is to promote sports amongst youths.
The Nadur Local Council will be promoting ‘healthy habits’ and raising awareness of keeping the village core as car free as possible. This will be done through the organisation of two activities – a walking event and a cycling event, as well as the organisation of traditional children’s games such as ‘noli’, ‘werqa’ and ‘passju’, which can be fully enjoyed in the absence of traffic.
The Kalkara Local Council will be organising alternative, car-free modes of transport for the public’s use and enjoyment, including karozzini rides and water transport. Various sports activities will also be organised including football, tennis, bocci games, and other Maltese traditional games, like ‘passju’ and ‘harba’.
The Hamrun Local Council will be taking the opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles by distributing posters and leaflets using recycled paper and which promote ways in which to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The Council will also be organising a kite-flying activity and a walk for adults and children alike.
The Mgarr Local Council plans to leave no stone unturned in their attempt to get as many people involved in its Car Free Day activities, which will also give the Council the perfect opportunity to promote an active lifestyle. Events on the day will include a fun walks around the cultural and historical sites of the town, a cycle tour, traditional Maltese games, horse riding and a martial arts exhibition.
A number of activities with the aim of showing residents just how much the town has to offer, without having to use a car will be organised by the Santa Lucija Local Council.  Activities will include a fun walk and a community picnic.
Inspire Foundation, Friends of the Earth and Oratorju Dun Bosco, in Gozo, are three NGO’s that were also awarded with a sponsorship. Inspire will be organising a ‘mass bike ride’, open to all members of the public and which will follow a predetermined route.
Oratorju Dun Bosco plan to go all out and will be organising a number of activities in the heart of Gozo’s Capital, Rabat. These will include street football and street volleyball; a treasure hunt around the city; traditional Maltese games including “iz-Zunzana Iddur Iddur” and “Gwerra Franciza”; a photo and art exhibition; water games and street dancing.
In Birkirkara, Friends of the Earth will be organising various events including a fun run, cycling, an environmental exhibition, food stalls with local produce and music by the Birkirkara band club.
Car Free Day is set to take place on Sunday 18th September and all activities will be open to the public. Those interested in attending any of the events organised on the day are encouraged to contact the Office of the Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Culture and the Environment for more details