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Team Shetland ready for Bermuda – just 100 days to go

04 April 2013

With just 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 NatWest Island Games in Bermuda, Shetland Island Games Association (SIGA) has today announced that Shetland will be represented by 40 athletes, competing in eight sports.

Preparations for this year’s Games began around eighteen months ago, shortly after Team Shetland returned from a successful 2011 Games in the Isle of Wight.   The main challenge of the 2013 Games, for all competing islands, is the cost of air travel and local accommodation in Bermuda, which has a busy high-end tourist market.    Although accommodation details in Bermuda are still being finalised, flights have been booked some time ago to secure seats on scheduled flights.

Andrew Inkster, SIGA Chairman, commented on the Team’s preparations to date – “We have had a lot of discussions about travel and the costs of this year’s Games.  There are also a limited number of seats on the only direct flight from the UK to Bermuda, so some of the Team are travelling via Europe and the United States.  The logistics and costs have been a challenge and we have had to plan much earlier than usual, so we are now pretty certain who will be going to Bermuda this year.”

With the higher costs this year, fundraising has been a significant issue.  The costs of taking part at this year’s Games are estimated to be around £2000 per person, including travel and accommodation.  Some sports, especially those with younger competitors, have put a lot of effort into fundraising for the Games, including sponsorship, coffee mornings, raffles and car washes.

This year’s costs are thought to have been the main factor in reducing the overall Team size to almost half of the 90 or so participants that have represented Shetland at the two previous Games in 2011 and 2009.

Andrew Inkster said “The Bermuda Team have travelled to the Games held in Europe for the last ten years and it is only right that we cross the Atlantic as their guests this year.  I know that many of the competing islands will have smaller teams this year but we are looking forward to a successful and memorable Games again.”

Shetland will be competing in eight sports – athletics, cycling, golf, sailing, clay shooting, squash, swimming and triathlon.   Among those expected to compete for Shetland this year will be some of the competitors who achieved gold medal success in 2011, including Andrea Strachan (swimming), Amy Harper (swimming), Christine Mclean (cycling) and Emma Leask (athletics).

The final Team entry list will be published after the official deadline for entries for all islands, 13th May 2013, which is exactly two months before the Opening Ceremony in Hamilton, Bermuda on Saturday 13th July 2013.