BEZZINA Eleanor < Back  
Sport Shooting
CGA Malta   
Gender Women
Born 25 Mar 1977
Height1.54 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Tarxien, MLT
Languages Italian, Maltese, English
Higher education Management - University of Malta: Msida, MLT
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She began shooting at age 32.
Why this sport? "It all started by chance. An event was organised to try clay pigeon shooting at Bidnija Shooting Range [in Malta] and I joined in. The late Lawrence Darmanin [former president of the Malta Air Rifle and Pistol Shooting Club] noticed us and invited us to have a look at the indoor range where the air pistol and air rifle shooting is practised. At that time, I used to play netball and water polo and shooting was not in my plans, but with Lawrence's enthusiasm and with my interest in venturing into a new sport, I started practising target shooting and never looked back.
Training Regime "I have shooting technique and skills sessions three to four times a week, with one of the sessions simulating a competition. I also do physical training two times a week, which includes five to 10 kilometre runs and a light weights session."
Handedness Right eye, right hand
General Interest
Nicknames Lin (Athlete, 11 Oct 2010)
Hobbies Scuba diving, kayaking, horse riding, trekking. (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020)
Memorable sporting achievement Competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020; maltatoday.com.mt, 17 Mar 2019)
Most influential person in career Her family and friends. (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020)
Injuries She has sustained a number of back injuries during her career. (Athlete, 11 Oct 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit." (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020)
Awards and honours She and swimmer Andrew Chetcuti were named as flag bearers for Malta for the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (insidethegames.biz, 19 Jul 2021)

She was named 2018 Sportswoman of the Year in Malta. (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020; maltatoday.com.mt, 17 Mar 2019)

She was flag bearer for Malta at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Games of Small States of Europe in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Charles Camenzuli Facebook profile, 01 Jun 2015)

In 2014 she was named Maltese Female Athlete of the Year. (Charles Camenzuli Facebook profile, 01 Jun 2015)

She was presented with the Gold Award at the 2013 Malta Olympic Committee Sports Awards. (maltashooting.com, 12 Jan 2014)

She was flag bearer for Malta at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Mediterranean Games in Mersin, Turkey. (mt.locinews.com, 22 Jun 2013)
Other sports She has represented Malta in netball at international level. (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020; Athlete, 11 Oct 2010)
Other information WORK AND SPORT
She has worked at the University of Malta and says she has had to balance her working and sporting commitments. "I cannot consider myself a professional athlete since I work full-time at the university, but I give great importance to sport. I try to time-manage my working commitments with target shooting commitments. I believe that in life one has to set priorities and make sacrifices to achieve goals. Target shooting, being a sport of precision and high accuracy, needs a lot of concentration. The mental preparation for this sport is fundamental and requires a good effort since it's not every day that I would be in the same state of mind, such as after a challenging day at work, or because of personal issues." (lovinmalta.com, 20 Jun 2021; maltatoday.com.mt, 17 Mar 2019; University of Malta Facebook page, 31 May 2013)

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION
She says the sport has benefited from her being named 2018 Sportswoman of the Year in Malta and hopes to inspire future generations of Maltese shooters. "Gradually, target shooting has started being given importance [in Malta]. One can see the difference throughout the years [speaking in 2019]. I have to admit that I wasn't aware of pistol shooting myself before 2009, but now people ask what it entails and get interested in trying. A positive of being honoured with the title of Sportswoman of the Year is that it gave the sport even more exposure. One major difficulty we have locally is that sport is considered a hobby, something to do if we have extra time. In recent years improvements have been made, but much more needs to be invested in our youngsters in order to produce elite athletes. We need to think of sports as employment if we want athletes to make it to the Olympics and get good results." (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020; maltatoday.com.mt, 17 Mar 2019)

EARLY DAYS
She practised tennis and horse riding as a child and then took up netball and water polo competitively. She began shooting in 2009. "I started with tennis and horse riding at the age of six, but then joined the RMF Birzebbuga netball team where I played for 19 years. Playing as part of the national team and competing abroad was an honour. At the same time, for three years, I joined the San Giljan water polo team. The atmosphere of a water polo match is really enjoyable. Today [speaking in 2020] I practise an individual sport, which I sometimes find a bit hard since I miss the spirit of a team, though shooting is giving me great satisfaction." (independent.com.mt, 09 Aug 2020)