Large numbers expected to compete in Island Games next year
Team Shetland may be the largest Island Games team ever to travel off-island – with about 165 competitors and officials expected to represent Shetland in Jersey next year.
Despite the official closing date for event entries not being until the end of the year, 11 local sports have now declared an interest in competing.
These are: archery, athletics, badminton, cycling, football, golf, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis and triathlon.
The Shetland Island Games Association said most sports have also indicated they wish to take the maximum number of competitors.
Both the Shetland men’s and women’s football teams expect to compete in Jersey.
It will be the first appearance for the women’s team in the games since competing on home soil in 2005.
For the men, it will be their first games since Aland in 2009.
The combination of both football teams will add almost 40 competitors to the overall team size.
The association said interest is high among many competing islands, following a lower entry for the 2013 games in Bermuda.
Although it was seen as a successful event, it is thought that the high costs of travel and
accommodation were factors that reduced team sizes for many island teams, the association said.
However, it said Jersey is expected to attract 4,000 participants and may be the largest multi-sport event in the British Isles next year.
Andrew Inkster, chairman of Shetland Island Games Association said: “As always, we began our planning soon after our return from the last games.
“We’ve already made some firm decisions about our travel plans and paid a deposit to secure our hotel accommodation.
“I’m delighted that we have such great local interest in the next games and that we could have the largest ever team travelling off-island to represent Shetland.”
He added: “It’s great exposure for all the sports, it’s a really high standard of competition that everybody gets exposed to and certainly for some of our sports people it’s the pinnacle of their sporting achievements.”