Gotland plans kicking into overdrive now

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Since throwing their sporting hat in the international ring of the NatWest Island Games, the Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) have turned so many dreams into reality.

From Eve Carrington bringing the first medal into the WIIGA camp, to Eilidh Mackenzie galloping to three successive gold medals over six years and Kathryn Offer and Kara Hanlon smashing Games’ records in the pool – the past 12 years as one of the islands competing in the Island Games has been littered with sporting dreams. The more recent performances of Kerry Macphee have also inspired many and she, along with swimmer Kara Hanlon, are now fighting for places at next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast of Australia.

But the work goes on for the WIIGA committee as they bid to continue their trend, and desire, to inspire the next generation of athletes and sportspeople coming through but such commitment to sport and to our island chain requires investment.

Speaking to the Gazette this week WIIGA chairman Norrie Macdonald and secretary and team manager Iain Campbell spoke of their hopes of bringing more island businesses on board to ensure the NatWest Island Games momentum and WIIGA’s message continues.

“WIIGA was set up to support the development of sport on the island, most recently supporting a revival in badminton, and try to push our athletes and sportspeople to the next level which has had the knock on of more people going into grassroots sport,” said Campbell.

“It is not just about the group of people we are taking away, it is about the bottom of the pyramid and bringing more people into sport and leading a healthy lifestyle. It is a community benefit.”

Norrie continued: “We have talked about trying to even out the cyclical nature of the time between Island Games and try and set up funding partnerships which would help us develop sports throughout the islands all year long and not just the years of the Games.

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