School pupils from all four secondary schools throughout the Western isles clashed in sporting combat this week as the first-ever Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) Youth Games took place in Stornoway.
Over two days in the town S3 and S4 pupils from the Nicolson Institute (Lewis); Sir E Scott (Harris); Sgoil Lionacleit (Benbecula); and Castlebay (Barra) competed against rival athletes and sportspeople from their fellow Hebridean schools.
Badminton, athletics, basketball and football were the four events in which our young athletes competed for glory, personal bests and top scores.
The first-ever WIIGA Youth Games kicked off with an impressive opening ceremony which saw our youngsters piped from the courtyard at the Nicolson Institute to Stornoway Town Hall.
Arranged to give our aspiring sportspeople a taster of the prospect of competing at the NatWest Island Games the WIIGA Youth Games were a huge success with all who competed hopeful the event can become a regular event on the Western Isles sporting calendar.
The NatWest Island Games have become a huge part of sport in the Western Isles in recent years as our sportsmen and women have starred on the international stage, leaping, running, splashing and pedalling onto podiums from Shetland and Rhodes to Bermuda, Jersey and Gotland.
Undoubtedly the pinnacle of sport for most athletes from the isles the standard at the Games is remarkable, the facilities second to none and the experience unlike anything else athletes and sportspeople will find anywhere else.
Now our aspiring sportspeople from S3 and S4 from the four Comhairle schools enjoyed a little taster of the Island Games as the Comhairle Sport and Health Team hosted the first WIIGA Youth Games.
The action began with badminton at Ionad Spors Leodhais before a sports workshop facilitated by Scottish Rugby 7’s captain Scott Riddell in Stornoway Town Hall.
Then the action turned to Stornoway Running and Athletics track for four hours of the best track and field events involving our school pupils who raced 100m, our throwers took on the shot-put before ending with a 4x100m relay.
Thursday saw the action switch to the hardwood and both girls and boys basketball in the sports centre, either side of girls and boys football which will be on the All Weather Pitch or Smith Avenue grass.
The closing ceremony for the WIIGA Youth Games saw our promising sports stars return to Stornoway Town Hall for the closing ceremony.
All involved with the Comhairle Sport and Health Team who arranged and hosted the WIIGA Youth Games would like to extend their gratitude to all who helped support the event from sponsors to volunteers and particularly the Scottish Salmon Company.
The Scottish Salmon Company have been the main sponsor for the Western Isles Island Games Association for the past four years and without their backing it would be difficult for the Western Isles to compete at the NatWest Island Games.
Their support is directly enabling our young athletes and sportspeople to compete at an elite level on the biggest stage available to them and pedal, splash, race and leap onto the podiums and record books of international sport.
WIIGA Team Manager Iain ‘GG’ Campbell commented: “I’m delighted we were able to put on this event for Year of the Young People. A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to make it happen and I am grateful to all of them.
“The event showed that there is talent in abundance throughout the islands and it was pleasing to see how well everyone conducted themselves throughout and mixed together away from competition.
“They were a credit to their schools and their islands.”