In just a matter of months the Western Isles Island Games Association will jet into the arena of top class international sporting combat as they compete in the prestigious NatWest Island Games for the seventh time.
Having taken a magnificent 19 medals home from Jersey in 2015, all involved will be hoping to match or even improve that tally as our troupe of 80 competing athletes prepare to pack up their kit, their hopes, dreams and steely eyed looks of determination onto the chartered flight from Stornoway to Gotland, Sweden.
Amongst the 80 competitors are five team managers who will look to juggle their team responsibilities with competing themselves. 17 will make their Island Games débuts from the squad while 12 of the team are still in school.
The Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) are proudly sponsored by The Scottish Salmon Company and this week they unveiled with squad list alongside Craig Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of The Scottish Salmon Company, at an event in Stornoway.
Craig Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone as WIIGA prepares to compete at this summer’s games.
“With sites throughout the Western Isles we are proud to support the local communities where the athletes live and work alongside our staff.
“We wish all athletes and their teams the best of luck with their training and we will be following their progress as the event approaches in June in Gotland.”
General Team Manager, Iain GG Campbell, said: “With just 75 days to go before the opening ceremony in Gotland preparations are in full flow. The announcement of the squad is always eagerly awaited and I would like to congratulate all those who have been selected.”
“This is an exciting moment for the selected team members, they all thoroughly deserve their chance to compete in Gotland. It’s another young squad with half of them aged 21 or under, which is great to see and very encouraging for the future.
“Our Team Managers have had some difficult decisions to make and, as always, there will be some who have been left disappointed. The managers have worked hard to ensure that all those who qualify to compete have had the opportunity to be considered.”
“The hope now is that everyone’s final preparations go well and that they all stay injury free. We are really looking forward to seeing this group represent our Islands in Gotland.”
This summer’s NatWest Island Games take place in Gotland, one of the 24 member islands, between June 24and 30. WIIGA will take a squad of 90 covering 8 sports to the Games, which includes athletes, coaches, management and medical team. The squad will be accompanied by a small number of family members and supporters. The Games provide an opportunity for island athletes to compete at a high level international event, which will be one of the biggest multi-sports events in this year’s global sporting calendar. The Gotland organisers expect over 3,000 to participate, plus many more officials, supporters and media, which would make this the biggest Games to date.
As well as the tremendous support WIIGA receives from main sponsor, The Scottish Salmon Company, many of our sports teams have received financial support from local businesses and organisations and our sincere thanks are due to them.
To date the following have given support: Charles Macleod (Butcher); Harris Tweed Hebrides; Engebret Ltd; Ishga; Point and Sandwick Trust; MG ALBA; Lewis Builders; Baltic Book Shop; Uig Lodge; Big Husky Lodge; Maciver Consultancy Services Ltd; John Roe; Aces; Yesss Electrical; Schneider Electric.
Athletics: Abbie Mackay, Eilidh Macleod, Heather Mackinnon, Sian Macdonald, Eve Carrington, Eilidh Mackenzie, Peigi McKellar, Jenny MacTaggart, Andrew Horne, Ross MacTaggart, Ruaraidh Muncaster, DJ Macmillan, Donnie Macleod, Michael Macmillan, Paul Morrison, Connor Maclean, William Macrury, Duncan McKellar, Murdo Mackenzie.
Swimming: Kathryn Offer, Kara Hanlon, Lucienee Doig, Isla Budge, Katie Murray, Mathew Hanlon.
Shooting: Archie Macvicar, Donald Walker, Ruaraidh Macdonald.
Cycling: Kerry Macphee, Kirsty Macphee, Craig McCulloch, Stuart Ashley, Christina Mackenzie.
Triathlon: Christina Mackenzie.
Golf: Bryan Geddes, Neil Rowlands, David Black, DJ Macleod.
Badminton: Paul Finnegan, Kedar Paul.
Mens Football: James Macleod, Gordon Mackenzie, Domhnall Mackay, Angus Macdonald, DI Maclennan, Peter Mackenzie, Gordon Campbell, Alasdair Gillies, Innes Iain Morrison, Archie Macdonald, Robert Mackenzie, Robert Jones, Micheil Smith, Martainn Shields, Eachainn Miller, Alexander Macdonald, Luke Mackay, Stewart Munro.
Womens Football: Cirsty Gilles, Christine Mackinnon, Amanda Nicolson, Christie Houston, Shana Macphail, Anne-Louise Stewart, Ann-Mairi Macleod, Beth Macleod, Rebekah Macleod, Mary Macleod, Kirsty Macdonald, Eleanor Smith, Sinead Macleod, Isabelle Bain, Hannah Macleod, Louise Martin, Christine Macquarrie.