Gianluca Bezzina is a doctor by profession, an incredibly talented singer, and during this year’s Malta Song Contest he’s also proven to be a more than a capable TV presenter. There are lots of things that Gianluca has tried his hands at, but running a marathon is an absolute first for this young man and his contagious smile.
Following his success in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Gianluca decided to use his popularity for a good cause, so for the very first time in his life he has taken on the challenge of running the Malta Half Marathon– 21km of sweat and pain to help raise money and awareness for Inspire – The Foundation for Inclusion that works with children and adults with various disabilities.
“I have been wishing to participate in The Malta Marathon for a number of
years, but in the past I had to stop training due to injuries, exams and other
commitments,” explains Gianluca, “but this time round I have the perfect
incentive which is that of doing it for a charity that I truly believe in. This
year I’m trying harder than ever to find time to train in order to complete
the marathon and to clock a decent time.”
“A few months ago I visited the Inspire facilities and I was able to witness
the tremendous amount of work that is being done with so many children,
adults and their families. The organization works tirelessly in order to
provide the best services to persons with disabilities and to alleviate the
pressure on public-social services, whilst empowering individuals to reach
their fullest potential.
Inspire also aims to improve inclusion in schools and employment and
works closely with family members to ensure that it addresses all aspects of
the life of any person who requires its support. Moreover, the vast majority
of its services are provided for free or are heavily subsidised by means of
fund raising, social enterprise, public funding and the generosity of
corporate benefactors. This is sterling work which I appreciate not only as a
medical doctor but also as a member of a just society, so I would also like to
contribute to their wonderful mission by running this marathon and hopefully
contribute to the fundraising that makes it all possible.”
Have you ever felt discouraged?
“No, not really. I have given this a lot of thought, so once
I decided that I’m running the marathon, there was no looking back. The half-marathon is quite challenging for me, considering that I have never run a marathon before, but I really enjoy running, and I’m also doing it with a positive attitude – training relaxes me, I’m having fun, and it is also for a good cause.
Doing it for charity increases my motivation because whilst completing the distance will obviously give me personal satisfaction, knowing that I’ll be raising funds and awareness is what helps me persevere with my training.”
What’s your training style?
“Whilst running I listen to music (Spotify shuffle mode is great!), but I also find that running also helps me take a break from my daily routine and
thoughts about work; it allows me to find myself. While I run, my mind is
able to take a break. Running gives me time to stop and think about my day
more calmly. Maybe that’s why I also love doing it so much… it’s the time
when I’m really able to connect with myself.”
Any worrying ailments?
“I’ve had knee injuries for quite a while, from the time that I used to play
football. It is a problem that still persists, but it does not stop me
completely. I’ve learnt to endure the pain and I don’t think I’ll visit a doctor
because doctors make the worst patients!”
How difficult are you finding it?
“It is indeed very hard to find time to train. I have quite a busy
schedule, and it proves to be quite difficult to try to fit my training sessions
between work, night duties, singing events, youth fellowship commitments,
and so on. Therefore, I make it a point to train during very early hours in
the day, or late at night. But training is the easy part I guess because it depends on me and me alone, the hardest part is fundraising for the cause.
In order to help me concentrate on my training Inspire are taking care of
the fundraising aspect and they’ve arranged for donations to come in via
Gianluca runs the half marathon on Sunday 23rd February. If you wish to support him and Inspire please send an SMS with the word Gianluca to:
€2.33 – 50617359
€4.66 – 50618080
€6.99 – 50618962
€11.65 – 50619215