Scottish teams set to compete in the Island Games
Teams from Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles are set to compete in the 2019 Island Games in Gibraltar kicking off this weekend.
Hundreds of athletes from Scotland's islands are heading out to compete in The Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games XVIII. The Games will be held from Saturday 6 to Friday 12 July 2019. Organisers expect around 3,000 participants, officials and media to attend the event.
In the beginning of the 1980s the idea of organising ”The Year of Sports” was born on the Isle of Man, with the highlight of the year being the Island Games. This was to provide an opportunity for athletes from the different islands to compete internationally, and to forge links between the different islands.
The first ever games were held in 1985 and were originally intended to be a one-off event, but it was decided that the experience had been so good that everyone wanted to do it again.
The NatWest International Island Games has gone from 700 participants, 15 islands and seven sports to 2,500 participants, 24 islands and 14 sports.
Orkney are sending 42 athletes to the Games. Their main sponsor is Cooke Aquaculture (team pictured above outside St Magnus Cathedral). Orkney will host the 2023 Island Games after all 24 member islands of the International Games Association (IIGA) voted unanimously to award them the event. Visit the Orkney Island Games Association website and the Orkney Islands Games Association Facebook page for more information.
The Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) is sponsored by The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) (pictured at the top of the page are some of the team receiving their kits). WIIGA will take a squad of 45 to the Games, which includes athletes, coaches, management and medical team. The team will compete in five sports: Athletics, Swimming, Shooting, Cycling and for the first time will have a full Badminton team. Visit the WIIGA website or the WIIGA Facebook page for more information.
Team Shetland (pictured above) will comprise 86 competitors and officials taking part in nine sports: Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Sailing, Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Table tennis and Triathlon. The Official Team Sponsor, for the fourth consecutive Games, is Malakoff Limited, Shetland’s leading marine engineering and fabrication specialist. Visit the Shetland Islands Games Assocation website or the Shetland Islands Games Facebook page for more information.
Orkney team photo: Picture credit to Ken Amer, Orkney Photographic
Shetland team photo: picture credit Shetland Island Games Association