An exclusive awareness-raising evening, with a charitable motive

On 9th Nov of last year, iGEN and SIGMA hosted an exclusive iGaming meet-and-greet with three of Malta’s leading endurance athletes, at ION Harbour by Simon Rogan, Valletta. Billed as X3 Endurance Athletes, the event was intended to present the three athletes – Fabio Spiteri, Niel Agius and Steve Sammut Nurminen – and the amazing charity work they do for some of the most vulnerable members of society.

In the exclusive surroundings of this Michelin-starred restaurant, perched high above the historic bastions, and with sweeping views across Valletta Harbour to the Three Cities, the heads of Malta’s iGaming industry had the opportunity to hear first-hand the compelling stories of these three committed athletes, and witness the amazing feats of endurance they put themselves through to raise awareness and funding for a range of great causes.

49 year old Fabio Spiteri has competed for Malta several times. His performances on the track saw him participate in several editions of the Games of the Small States of Europe, winning medals in the 1999 Liechtenstein Games, running the 4 x 400m – where a new national record was established. His second medal materialised in 2001 San Marino Games, again in the 4 x 400m.

In recent years he turned his focus to the triathlon, and particularly Ironman events. Animal-lover Fabio recently attempted the most ambitious feat yet; competing in 10 Ironman events over ten days in the Brazil Ultra Triathlon, to raise money for homeless animal shelters, a cause very close to his heart. Injury unfortunately forced him to retire after completing seven of the ten events.

Neil Agius, born June 6, 1986, is a Maltese swimmer, former Olympian and world-record holder, who specialises in long-distance freestyle events. After setting up his own swimming academy in 2007, Neil has undertaken a number of ultra-distance unassisted open water swims, the most celebrated of which is probably his first world record breaking swim, covering 125km in 52 hours, swimming from Linosa, Italy to Malta.

Funds raised by these epic efforts were used to deliver food to thousands of needy families during Covid, although Neil is probably best known for his tireless efforts to raise awareness around plastic pollution in the oceans.

Maltese ultrarunner Steve Sammut Nurminen has made a name for himself for pushing his body to the extreme, in runs across inhospitable terrain like the recent 365 km run across Sicily, to raise thousands of meals for Soup Kitchen. In an earlier event, he ran the entire length of Malta three times nonstop, in the height of summer. His most recent charity run was Move For Meals, a 24-hour nonstop marathon run around the University track at Msida – in fact it is the equivalent of running four consecutive official marathons – again in aid of Soup Kitchen.

Joined by various volunteers over the course of the 24 hours, Steve managed 394 laps himself, and the total combined laps by all participants – including iGEN’s own Enrico Bradamante – was an incredible 7528 laps, raising thousands of Euros to feed the less fortunate.

The evening was a great success, with all participants having the chance to enjoy some great and inspiring conversation, encouraged by some exquisite drinks and fine dining, courtesy of Iniala. The 3X Endurance Athletes also had a great opportunity to cement new contacts and secure sponsorship for future events.

Leave a Reply