If one had to delve into one of the greatest civilisations mankind has ever seen, the civilization which served as a cradle to all major Western civilizations, and which sprouted in Greece and matured into Hellenic art, literature, architecture and democracy, one could easily observe the importance which sports had in the foundations of this society. Games developed in a good number of Greek states and those who participated in these athletic events became heroes in their cities. Sports was not a way through which one could kill time, but it was a means through which one acquires fame, glory and prosperity.
Nowadays, health reviews lay emphasis on the importance of keeping fit, particularly more so when quite a high percentage of the population is leading a sedentary life, and food is becoming faster but definitely not healthier. Our ancestors in the town of Xaghra definitely led a much more physically active life. Many of them tilled the fields, from dawn till dusk, had to take care of herds of cows, sheep or goats, and had to walk miles every day from home to church and then off to the fields for a hard day of manual labour.
Despite this toil, they still decided and managed to set up sports associations. Xaghra United is one of the oldest football clubs in Gozo, formed a few years prior to the onset of the Second World War. Xaghra citizens have participated in many sports events, ranging from volleyball to cycling. However what Xaghra is synonymous with, in the Maltese athletic world, is the organization of the Gozo Half Marathon, which started being held in our town way back in 1977 through the indefatigable endeavour of a local priest, Father Anton Refalo, who was awarded the Gieh ix-Xaghra, a couple of years ago in 2020.
The Xaghra Local Council is proud to give a helping hand with the organization of this event which nowadays is usually organized during the weekend during which the Council commemorates the Xaghra Day which is celebrated every year on the 28th of April since the parish of Xaghra was established on this day in the year 1688 and the Xaghra Local Council adopted this important date as the formal establishment of modern Xaghra, even though people have been inhabiting Xaghra for at least six thousand years.
The Xaghra Local Council is committed to continuing to assist the organizing committee of the Xaghra Marathon, first and foremost because it is a badge of honour for our town, and secondly, because the committee members who strive to improve the quality of this event deserve all the backing which is required because, in virtue of their sterling work, Xaghra is tapping the niche of sports tourism, they are redirecting physically idle youths to the beautiful world of sports and placing our town onto the national sports map.