16th October 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Island Games Sporting Chance: Karl Williamson & Amy Harper

, by , in Sport

The popular feature returns over the next few weeks and features some of the competitors taking part in the NatWest Island Games in Åland at the end of June.

We begin with experienced footballer Karl Williamson and young swimmer Amy Harper.

Karl Williamson

Age: 29
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Medal tally: One gold (Shetland 2005).

A successful island games in Åland would be

I think we have to go there with the belief we can win the tournament. But looking at the standard of this year’s draw, I would be happy with a medal of any description.

I mainly got into football because

I was always interested but I think it was after watching the 1986 World Cup that I really went mad. My parents were very supportive and took me to Lerwick every week to play for Thistle. Whalsay never had a team at that age group.

My best achievements so far have been

In football winning the Scottish Youth League with Aberdeen, being chosen as Young Player of the Year with Brechin City, winning the Shetland Premier League with Whalsay and of course the island games gold medal in 2005. Away from football, passing my chartered accountancy exams took a lot of hard work.

A way of improving football would be

I think Saturday football for the Premier League would improve the game in Shetland. Teams could train properly through the week and work on tactics, set pieces, etc in preparation for the game. At the moment it’s difficult rushing around after work and almost impossible to fit in training sessions throughout the season. Another plastic pitch would also help.

Currently I most admire

My partner Leona and her daughter Vaila.

My main ambition for the future is

To play for a good few years yet and to win the league again with Whalsay. When I finally retire, I would like to help coach the younger players. Away from football I would like to do well in my career and stay healthy and happy.

In my spare time away from football I like to

Spend time with my family, friends and animals (I have a zoo at the Ness). I also enjoy a good spree!

Musically I like to listen to

A wide range from country to AC/DC.

I like to read

Autobiographies/newspapers.

And watch

Sport, comedy, documentaries.

The best films I’ve seen are

I’m not really into films but I liked the Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile and A Pilgrimage to Clett.

My favourite actors/actresses are

Neil Arthur and Keith Pearson.

My pet hates include

People who moan about things they could easily change/fix with a bit of willpower.

My favourite food and drink is

Any kind of fish and Tennents lager.

The best country I have visited so far is

Spain – Gran Canaria.

I would most like to meet

Diego Maradona.

If I won millions on the lottery, I would

Build my dream house and travel the world while it was being built. Maybe build an indoor astro-pitch in Whalsay for future generations.

In my wildest dreams, the ideal way of spending a day/night would be

Lie on an exotic beach until midday, fly to watch Manchester United win the European Cup then go for drams with family and friends somewhere nice. Come home, check my lottery ticket, and discover I’ve won the jackpot.

Anything to add

No.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Amy Harper

Age: 17
Birthplace: Gilbert Bain Hospital, Lerwick
Medal tally: None so far.

A successful island games in Åland would be

Getting into more finals than I did in Rhodes. Also getting as many PBs and Shetland records as I can.

Mainly got into swimming because

I have always liked the water; Mam said when I was younger I always wanted to play in the paddling pool or splash in the puddles (whatever the weather). I first started with swimming lessons at the Scalloway pool then joined the Lerwick ASC and never looked back.

My best achievements so far have been

Getting into finals in Rhodes two years ago; being the first woman in Shetland to get under one minute for the 100m freestyle (the best feeling ever, looking up at the timing board and seeing the sub-minute); breaking three inter-county records last year.

A way of improving my swimming would be

My coaches would say if the pool was to open earlier we could get more training hours in before school, but I would say … for school to open later.

Currently I most admire

Volunteers who give up their own time to help others. Also anyone who finds the time and puts in hard work to achieve their goals in life.

My main ambition for the future is

To be more successful in my swimming, get a good job, earn lots of money and most of all be happy.

In my spare time away from swimming I like to

Play any other sports, help out on the farm, have a laugh with my friends and at the moment I’m learning to drive.

Musically I like to listen to

Well anyone who knows me well would know my favourite song is Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler. I really listen to a mixture from Johnny Cash to Clubland.

I like to read

I never really have time to read but can always find time on Friday to read the back pages of The Shetland Times.

And watch

Mainly cartoons like Sponge Bob Squarepants and The Simpsons but I also love comedy programmes like Father Ted.

The best films I’ve seen are

The Guardian would be my favourite by far. I also enjoy watching all the Adam Sandler moves – my favourite has to be Happy Gilmore.

My favourite actors/actresses are

Adam Sandler.

My pet hates include

Housework, Brussels sprouts and people who say “I can’t do it” before even trying.

My favourite food and drink is

Chinese food, lasagne . . . in fact any pasta. Also nothing can beat Granny’s Sunday dinners (especially her gravy). My favourite drink has got to be Irn Bru.

The best place I have visited so far is

Rhodes was great because I was there with the Shetland team. Barcelona for a school trip was amazing as I went with all my school friends and we had a great laugh. But the best of them all was definitely Florida for its water parks, rollercoasters and all round American-ness.

I would most like to meet

David Beckham and Michael Phelps.

If I won millions on the lottery I would

Build a swimming pool in the back green. Take all my friends on a cruise ship for the summer.

In my wildest dreams, the ideal way of spending a day/night would be

Take all my friends to Disneyland for the day and chill out beside the pool at night.

Anything to add

I would just like to say thanks to my brothers and mam and dad for running me everywhere. Now all they will have to do is pay for my driving lessons and test and I won’t bother them again. Also thanks must go to my “lane buddies” for being at my feet the whole time and pushing me on.