The Otters Club hails from Marsalforn Bay in Gozo and was formed in 1971. For the first ten years of its history, the club participated in the competitions organised by the Gozo Aquatic Association. However with the number of Gozitan teams dwindling, in the early eighties the club joined the Aquatic Swimming Association (ASA) of Malta and began playing in the national competitions, something it has proudly done since, year in year out. This achievement is unrivalled by any other Gozitan association or club in any sporting discipline.
Currently, Otters participate in both the winter and summer national competitions with the Senior team, an Under 15 and an Under 13 team. This is no mean feat especially when one considers that to date, there is no adequate pool in Gozo where training can be held all year round! Recently, Anthony Farrugia, Assistant Coach of the Maltese National Waterpolo team, was engaged by the club to coach the Senior team, so that Otters’ senior players shall be prepared on a more professional basis.
The Otters Committee prides itself in raising players through its nursery and youth systems. During the summer months, a Swimming and Waterpolo School is held at the Otters pitch in Marsalforn. Around 140 girls and boys aged from 6 to 11 turn the Otters club into a hive of unbelievable activity. The club’s coaches have to utilise all their skills in order to cope, considering that the access to the sea is not ideal and that the weather plays an important part to having an adequate workout.
However, this structure has reaped precious dividends; in 2017, goalkeeper Matthew Xerri was chosen for the Under 17 National team competing in the European championship, and in 2018 Isaac Azzopardi and Luigi Dimech formed part of the Malta Under 13 National Team which played in a tournament in Italy. These selections confirm that the club’s structure is on the right track and motivate all members to give their very best for the improvement in the standards of waterpolo and swimming in Gozo.
MeDirect has been proudly supporting the Otters Club since the Bank opened its Gozo branch in 2012. Supporting the Gozitan community continues to be a priority for the Bank. We wish the Club and their team members good luck with any upcoming tournaments.