Team Shetland ready for Isle of Wight
Tues 21st June 2011
With only four days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the 2011 NatWest Island Games in the Isle of Wight, Team Shetland is in the midst of final preparations for departure on Thursday.
This year’s team includes 95 individuals, including 82 competitors and 13 officials, taking part in ten sports on offer at this year’s Games: archery, athletics, badminton, cycling, golf, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming and table tennis. Over 3000 competitors from 24 competing islands are expected to take part in this year’s Games that last took place in the Isle of Wight in 1993.
Among this year’s Shetland Team will be gold medallists at the 2009 Games in the Finnish island of Åland – athlete Emma Leask who took gold in the Women’s 800 metre event and archer Billy Finnie, who won gold in the Men’s Compound Archery event.
Commenting on the Team’s strengths this year, Chairman of the Shetland Island Games Association, Andrew Inkster said “We have some strong competitors again this year, many of whom have positive experiences of Åland two years ago. In particular, our swimmers and athletes are on top form at the moment with some notable successes recently. After many months of preparation, we are looking forward to a superb week of competition in the Isle of Wight against some top-class opposition from islands around the world.”
General Team Manager, Bob Kerr added “It takes a lot of preparation to get the whole Team organised and I’d like to specifically mention all the individual sports managers and sports coaches who have volunteered their time to help plan for and prepare the Team in recent months. Their hard work and contributions ultimately benefit the competitors and improve our chances of medal success. It is a real Team effort all around and I think that has always been one of our greatest strengths.”
Shetland Island Games Association would like to give special thanks to Bolts Car Hire for providing an equipment van to allow the Team to transport essential sports kit from Shetland to the Isle of Wight, that will be driven by volunteers Dave Lewis and Keith Lobban, who are competing in the pistol shooting and archery events respectively.
The Association also wishes to thank all the sponsors of individual sports within the Team; Northlink Ferries and John Leask & Son for their assistance with travel planning; Intersport Shetland for their help with the supply of Team Shetland clothing; and to Shetland Islands Council for the provision of grant assistance to the Team.
The majority of the team will leave Shetland on Thursday 23rd June aboard the Northlink ferry to Aberdeen, and then take scheduled flights on Friday morning to Heathrow, followed by coach transfers to the Isle of Wight.
The Opening Ceremony will take place on Saturday evening (25th June) in the coastal town of Ryde when Lord Sebastian Coe of the London 2012 Olympic Committee will officially open the Games. The Opening Ceremony will be preceded by a carnival parade through the streets of Ryde, involving 1500 local performers.
Team Shetland will be staying in caravan accommodation near the Sandown area on the east side of the Isle of Wight, with the Games Organising Committee responsible for providing bus transport to and from Games venues each day.
The official Games results website will be http://natwestiowresults2011.com where live results will be available for all sports and islands during the Games week.