Island games chiefs to visit Jersey

Shetland competitors leave for the last island games in Bermuda in 2013.

Shetland competitors leave for the last island games in Bermuda in 2013.

With a year to go before 2015 NatWest Island Games in Jersey, two representatives from Shetland Island Games Association (SIGA) will be travelling to Jersey this weekend, to preview the facilities and sports venues.

Chairman Andrew Inkster and secretary Bob Kerr will visit Jersey along with representatives of the other 23 competing islands.

Delegates will also attend the annual general meeting of the International Island Games Association, due to take place tomorrow.

Among items on the agenda will be whether to award the 2019 games to Faroe, who are bidding to host the event that year.

The Swedish island of Gotland has already been awarded the 2017 games, 18 years since they first held the event in 1999.

Jersey last hosted the games in 1997 and won the bid to host the 2015 event in 2010. After the games in Bermuda last year there is expected to be a large increase in participants at the 2015 games, which will be closer to home for the majority of islands.

Around 4,000 competitors and officials are expected in Jersey next year, making the event perhaps the largest multi-sport event in the British Isles that year.

Shetland is also expected to have at least 180 competitors and officials taking part in 11 sports: archery, athletics, badminton, cycling, football, golf, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis and triathlon.

Shetland Islands Volleyball Association has also recently indicated that it is keen to raise a volleyball team for the event.

SIGA chairman Andrew Inkster said: “Visiting the next host island a year ahead of the games is a really important milestone for both us and the organising committee.

“We can inspect the sports facilities where team Shetland will be competing and visit our team hotel. It also gives us a chance to ask questions of the organising committee, about important issues such as the sports programmes, local transport and catering options for the team. We look forward to hearing of Jersey’s plans for next year’s games.”

Local engineering firm Malakoff Limited is the overall sponsor of Team Shetland, in a deal made in 2013 to support the participation of the best of Shetland’s sportspeople at the NatWest Island Games.

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