A summer of sporting success was celebrated at the town hall last night, with a civic reception for the Shetland Island Games squad and the Shetland Gymnastics Club.
This year saw Shetland’s most successful off-island team, with 23 medals in Jersey
and Shetland finishing 10th in the medal table.
Meanwhile, six Shetland gymnasts travelled to Ynys Mon to compete in the Inter Island Gymnastics competition in July.
Gymnastics was not a chosen sport in this year’s NatWest Island Games so a separate competition was held. Teams from Jersey, Isle of Man, Ynys Mon, Bermuda, Åland, Gotland and the Cayman Islands also took part.
Speeches were given by Shetland Island Games Association secretary Bob Kerr, SIGA chairman Andrew Inkster, and SIC convener Malcolm Bell, who also travelled to Jersey and experienced the games.
“They [the team] did Shetland proud,” said Mr Bell afterwards, looking back at Shetland’s exploits in Jersey.
“Everyone you spoke to in Jersey spoke about how professional, competitive and well behaved they were.”
He said it was only right the community recognised their efforts.
“It’s a small token of our appreciation for all they have done to give us a great summer,” he said.
Mr Inkster said it was “great to be recognised” with the event.
“We all take representing Shetland very seriously and we do that with a great deal of pride,” he said.
He is stepping down from his role as he has been voted onto to the Island Games Association international executive committee.
An annual meeting will be held in October when Mr Inkster, who has been SIGA chairman since 2008, will formally relinquish his post.
“This was the most successful games ever off island,” he said.
“We seem to get better and better and that’s down to the hard work of the whole team and I think we should take pride in that.”
The team will always want to do better, he said “people won’t rest on their laurels, it’s not in their nature”.
Gymnastics club coaching secretary Fiona Grieve, said: “It’s nice to be recognised. It was good to go away to Ynys Mon and see the island games competition.”
“You see what people are doing and we now have a goal for the next two years,” she added.
The team missed out on the camaraderie in Jersey, she said, but was looking forward to joining the rest of the island games squad in Gotland, which will host the games in 2017.
Bronze medal-winning triathlete Wendy Hatrick was pleased to catch up with her fellow teammates, with a big turnout on the night.
“Happy memories and we’re inspired for Gotland,” she said.