Bursts of colour as Team Shetland flies the flag
A rainbow of colours filled the opening ceremony of the 16th island games with fireworks, flags and confetti in St Helier.
More than 3,000 athletes have travelled to the competition from 24 islands around the world, making this year the biggest in its history.
Flag bearers proudly led their teams into the green arena of Howard Davis Park, flanked by supporters wrapped in island banners and colours.
Team Shetland were met with a mighty cheer as the 142-strong squad raised the Shetland blue and white aloft.
Games stalwart, shooter Jim Work led the way, this his 14th island games for Shetland.
“It was a great experience,” he said.
“It’s something I’ll always remember and I was really delighted to have done it.
“It was great to get the cheer coming in. The whole place just lit up with colour with all the different teams. It was great to see.”
Water carrier and swimmer Felix Gifford then took a rather brown looking Shetland water to the stage as part of the symbolic water pouring ceremony.
Amongst the happy onlookers was Georgia Grant, who was waving her blue and white flag with a gansie wrapped around her shoulders.
The Shetland Supporters Group were also out in force and more than 70 of them have made the 950-mile trip south.
Willie Binns was enjoying the sunshine, in this his fourth games backing the team.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“Each time we go for a new location that in itself adds to the party atmosphere. Some people are making a holiday of it and they stay on afterwards.”
He was excited for the games to start, with the first competitions kicking off tomorrow morning.
“I would think there’s a very good chance of some gold medals.”
Una Simpson said it was a really friendly atmosphere and had travelled down on the ferry on Thursday night.
“Everybody is really friendly and chatting away.”
With such a large squad she thought there would be a few medal hopefuls in the team this year.
“We’re backing every one of them, whatever they are doing,” said Una.
Alison Moar was there to cheer on her daughter Sophie, who will be battling it out with the athletics team tomorrow.
“It’s great. I’m so excited,” she said.
“It just seems like ages and ages ago that we booked it. Now we’re actually here and it’s lovely weather, it’s great to be soaking up the atmosphere.”