Gotland nine unveiled by WIIGA

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The team of sports managers tasked with preparing the Western Isles athletes and sports people to go for glory in Gotland have been announced.

Ahead of next summer’s NatWest Island Games which are taking place on the Swedish island of Gotland, the full team of nine sports team managers have been confirmed with all nine boasting the experience of at least one previous Island Games.

Seumas MacTaggart steps up to full athletics team manager from his previous role as coach; Paul Finnegan continues in his role as badminton manager while Christina Mackenzie, a winner of gold, silver and bronze medals in the past for the Western Isles is the new cycling and triathlon team manager.

Eric Macleod is continuing in his role as men’s football team manager with Catherine Ann Macleod doing likewise for the women’s football team.

Bryan Geddes, a member of the 2015 golf team which competed in Jersey, has taken on the mantle of golf team manager for 2017, with Archie Macvicar training his sights on glory with the shooting team.

David Hanlon, manager of last year’ swim team which won the Western Isles’ first swimming medals, continues in his role for Gotland.

The managers will be supported by the General Team Manager, Iain GG Campbell, and the rest of the WIIGA Committee. The role of the manager includes supporting the promotion of their sport throughout the Western Isles, supporting development of their sport, setting criteria for qualification, selection of the team, fundraising, liaising with Island Games sports organisers and management of the team at the Games.

WIIGA Chairperson, Norrie MacDonald says he is thrilled with the standard of manager’s appointed.

“Following on from the successes at recent games, most notably our last participation at Jersey 2015; it is important that we underpin the development we have seen across all sports and throughout the islands,” he said.

“I believe this is as strong a group of managers as we could have hoped for, and the work has already begun to prepare for Gotland in 2017.”

The Chairperson also urges anyone interested in getting involved to do so.

“Anyone; from aspiring athletes, redundant coaches, sports clubs, fundraisers, organisers and, indeed, members of the general public who would like to get involved but don’t know how, simply call into your local Sports Centre and ask. Or contact me at norriemacdonald@btinternet.com,” he said.

Following sponsorship of the squad at last year’s Games in Jersey, The Scottish Salmon Company will continue to be a main sponsor for the Games in Gotland, Craig Anderson, Managing Director commented: “We were extremely proud of the performance of the teams at last year’s Games, they certainly put the Western Isles on the map and highlighted the wealth of athletic talent we have across the islands.

“The appointment of the new team managers is crucial, as they have an important role in identifying, nurturing and developing individuals across the different sporting disciplines in the countdown to the next games. We look forward to working with the athletes and the committee in this next chapter”.

The next NatWest Island Games will be held in Gotland 2017 from June 24 to 30.