The Jonathan Chetcuti Program has awarded a grant to professional athlete Richard Josef Schultheis to support the ongoing development in his sports career. This was done on the first anniversary of the demise of Jonathan Chetcuti, a passionate sports lover, and Co-Founder of The Concept Stadium, who passed away aged 41 in May 2020; and in memory of whom the program was set up.

The Jonathan Chetcuti Program was set up to provide a financial contribution towards the development of an individual in the furtherance of sports excellence. The programme donors are Elaine Bonello, Jonathan’s wife and life partner; and Jonathan Dalli, his close friend and business partner at The Concept Stadium; who also presented Richard Josef Schultheis with custom-program-branded merchandise.

“Jonathan’s life may have been cut short, but his principles outlive him, in the various initiatives he spearheaded and in those around him. This initiative will keep Jonathan’s legacy alive and fulfils his dream to give back. This is our commitment.” said Elaine Bonello and Jonathan Dalli. “The Jonathan Chetcuti Program brand was developed by the late Jon C’s own team at The Concept Stadium, with a brand image that is based on the number 10 – the iconic number that Jonathan wore with pride during his volleyball career – and it had also been the 10th anniversary of The Concept Stadium in the year that Jonathan left us to become the company’s guardian angel.”

Young Sailor Richard Schultheis hails from a family of sailors and experienced skippers and has made a name for himself from a young age when he started sailing in the Optimist Class 2012 at the age of 7. Since then, he garnered an ever-increasing list of international success. More recently, in 2019, apart from winning all local regattas, he claimed several podium places on an international level, the most prestigious being a Silver medal in the Optimist World Championships held in Antigua. Following that success, he moved onto the double handed 29er Class competing in several competitions. In October 2019, he took part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, as co-skipper of the Xp-44 yacht Xp-act, which placed 7th overall. In 2020 he won all international 29er regattas like Kiel Week, EuroCup, German Nationals and Italian Nationals and continued his successful streak by dominating the 2020 Wazsp Foiling Week held in Fraglia Vela Malcesine and winning the overall regatta. His goals for the next years include the transition to 49erFX, and thereafter he will focus his attention towards the Olympic campaign in 49er Class.

The Maltese Olympic Committee (MOC) was approached as an independent partner, to administer the athlete selection process. Commenting, Paul Sultana, Executive Director of the MOC said: “The Maltese Olympic Committee is delighted to have been chosen to collaborate on such a meaningful project. Jonathan certainly does not need further introduction from us. We are sure that this initiative is something that would have been close to his heart and his memory will live on through the athletes who will benefit from this Program”.

Jonathan Chetcuti (1978-2020) was a passionate sports lover excelling in tennis and volleyball. He spent more than half his life playing competitive volleyball, obtaining more than 100 caps with the Malta National Volleyball team, of which he was captain from 2003 to 2012. During his career he won all top personal and team honours with three different teams. He believed that sports was the foundation for life, or in his words “the university of my life”. The principles he learned from sports – dedication, determination, discipline, respect, camaraderie and above all, the importance of having fun – guided him throughout his life. Jonathan was privileged to have represented Malta three times at the Games of the Small Nations of Europe (Lichtenstein 1999, San Marino 2001, Malta 2003); and twice during the European Volleyball Championships (Malta 1998, Andorra 2002); an honour he deeply cherished.

One of Jonathan’s lifelong dreams was the setting up of a facility to help young athletes realise their potential, hone their talent, push themselves further and make their country proud. Wearing the shirt was of particular importance for Jonathan, both for his country and for his club/s.

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