Latest News (June 2001)
ROYAL VISIT TO NATWEST ISLAND GAMES - PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
The Organising Committee of the 2001 NatWest Island Games has announced details of the arrangements for the visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex to the Games. Organising Committee Chairman, the Venerable Brian Partington explained:
"We are absolutely delighted that the Earl and Countess will be able to attend both the Opening Ceremony and the first day of competition."
The Opening Ceremony for the Games takes place at the National Sports Centre in Douglas on the evening of Saturday 7th July and the Royal Party will arrive at the main entrance in Groves Road at just before 7.30 p.m. They will attend the official welcome reception for the International Island Games Association in the National Sports Centre atrium where they will meet both members of the international movement and the local organisers. After approximately 30 minutes the Royal Party will move across to the Bowl where the teams from the 22 islands will be assembling (and being entertained) prior to the parade of Islands. The Earl and Countess of Wessex will spend the next half an hour meeting competitors from all of the islands and as Games Director, Mike Ball explained:
"Over recent weeks I have been doing quite a few media interviews for the visiting islands and they always ask whether their competitors will get to meet the Royal visitors. There is a particular expectation in the smaller Commonwealth islands such as the Falklands."
The Royal Party will then take their seats in the Grandstand for the Opening Ceremony during which the Earl of Wessex will officially open the IXth NatWest Island Games. Brian Partington explained:
"Whilst the Opening Ceremony represents a good opportunity to see the Royal visitors, it is already virtually sold out - there are just a few standing places left and these can be purchased from the Games Office at the National Sports Centre."
The best opportunity for the Manx public to see the Earl and Countess will be on Sunday 8th July when they will be visiting various Games venues in both Douglas and Ramsey. At 9.45 a.m. the Royal Party will arrive at the National Sports Centre stadium for the start of the Half Marathon and there will be ample free seating for the public. The Earl and Countess will then move to the main National Sports Centre building where they will see Basketball, Table Tennis and Swimming. Next they go to the Villa Marina, arriving at 10.55 a.m., where they will spend time watching the Badminton. The game in progress should, very appropriately, involve Prince Edward Island. Again, there are spectator facilities for the general public at the Villa Marina.
The Royal Party then moves to the North of the Island, arriving at the Mooragh Park in Ramsey at 12.10 p.m. for the start of the Triathlon. After lunch, the Earl and Countess move on to Ramsey Football Club, arriving at just after 1.45 p.m. There they will meet the teams prior to the Ladies Soccer pool match between the Faroe Islands and the Isle of Man. At 2.20 p.m. they will arrive at Ramsey Promenade, adjacent to the Swimming Pool, to watch the sailing in the Bay. All three of the Ramsey venues provide good spectator facilities for the public.
After visiting the sailing, the Earl and Countess will return to Douglas arriving at the Albany Lawn Tennis Club, at Ballaughton, at approximately 3.05 p.m. They will spend approximately three quarters of an hour at the Tennis venue and, whilst it is an excellent sporting facility, there is very little spectator provision.
The final opportunity for the Manx public to welcome the Royal visitors will be at approximately 3.50 p.m. when they will be at the National Sports Centre stadium to present the first medals of the Athletics; for the Half Marathon.
Games Director, Mike Ball, concluded:
"It is a packed programme and we hope that the Manx public will come out in force to welcome not only the Earl and Countess but also the competitors from our 22 islands."
He added: "From Sunday (7th) through to Friday (13th) we have a fantastic
festival of sport and plenty of opportunities for the local population to view
the competition. Everyone will be made very welcome at the venues and we hope
that Manx people will help us provide the atmosphere which will make the 2001
Games memorable. Official programmes will be on sale shortly and full details
can be obtained from our website - www.islandgames.org.im - which will also
publish results. Everyone can also keep up to date on the Games by reading the
special coverage in the local newspapers or listening to Manx Radio (AM 1368)
which will be Games Radio for the week."
THERE'S three weeks to go until the ninth NatWest Island Games get under way in the Isle of Man. Some 2,050 competitors from 22 islands around the world will compete in 15 different sports from July 7-13. These figures make it a record Island Games, thanks in part to the inclusion of women's football in which seven islands have entered teams.
The 1999 Games in Gotland, Sweden, saw a total of 1,856 competitors in action while the inaugural Games, in the Isle of Man in 1985, featured 15 islands. Unsurprisingly, the largest team entered this year is from the host nation with 256 competitors representing the Isle of Man. The smallest team, comprising two cyclists, will travel from Froya - an island found 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle. They will take a ferry to mainland Norway before three flights carry them to Copenhagen, Manchester and then on to the Isle of Man. The seven-strong team from St Helena must leave the earliest and travel for two weeks to arrive in time for the opening ceremony on July 7. The team includes two St Helena-born competitors who now reside on neighbouring Ascension Island - 700 miles away! The team will travel to Cape Town before flying to the Isle of Man via the UK.
The main venue for the NatWest Island Games will be the newly completed £22 million National Sports Centre (NSC). It boasts superb indoor and outdoor facilities and will host athletics, swimming, basketball and table tennis. Already 156 flagpoles have been delivered to the NSC to ensure that each island's flag can be flown at every venue where team members are competing.
In addition, co-ordinator Gary Jakeman has taken delivery of 3,000 shuttlecocks, 1,500 tennis balls, 120 practice footballs and 40 match footballs, 72 volleyballs and 16 basketballs. New equipment has also been ordered for the athletic arena, including javelins, hurdles, hammers, shots and a new public address system.
Another brand new venue will host the 25 metre and 50 metre shooting competition.
Slieu Lhost, at Windy Corner on the Mountain Road, was opened recently by the
Lieutenant Governor, Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen.
Tickets for the Opening Ceremony (Saturday July 7th)
Tickets for the Opening Ceremony go on sale this Saturday (June 16th). There are some 130 seats available in the Grandstand (@ £5) and 800 standing places (@£1).Isle of Man residents can obtain tickets from the desk at the National Sports Centre between 9am and 5pm on June 16th. Maximum of 2 tickets per purchaser. Visitors to the Isle of Man for the Games can reserve tickets by email - send requests as soon as possible to Gary Jakeman (Games Administrator) at firstname.lastname@example.org..
So we're nearly there - only 5 weeks to go before Saturday July 7th and the opening of the 9th NatWest Island Games by Prince Edward.
All entries are in and have been duly processed, nearly all the draws have been made, and the final adjustments to the schedule of events are being made. Full details of this schedule and the draws for the individual sports will appear on this site by mid-June.
We're really looking forward to giving a real Manx welcome to all our visitors
next month and to holding a truly memorable and exciting Games back here in
the 'spiritual home' of the Island Games.
May the event be blessed by sunshine, keen competition, and friendship.
The results section of our web site will be going fully on line on June 25th however the development site will be made accessible before this date - please watch this spac for further detailse. Before the Games begin you will be able access the schedule of events for each sport (together with details of the event winner in Gotland and any event record) and names of the competitors entered. You will also be able to view the results templates for each sport and use the 'Find a competitor' facility.
During the Games you should be able to obtain almost instantaneous results for each event since the majority of sports will be inputting their results directly to the site. Also available will be a regularly updated medal table, weather forecasts and reports, and much more besides!
The organising committee for this year's Games is immensely grateful to Data
Centre for all the hard work and commitment that has been put into the Results
Service and the web site over the last 3 years. Special thanks go to Jeremy
Livsey (Managing Director) and to Dave Joughin and Tony Jones who have been
carrying out all the work involved in designing and testing the software for
the Results Service. Thanks too to past Data Centre employees, Sean Kelly and
Adam Braidwood, for their work on the development and updating of the Island
Games web site. Also heavily involved over the final few weeks of preparation
is Mike Kennish, who is handling the hardware side of the operation ensuring
that some 34 pc's and 26 printers, together with numbers of photocopiers, fax
machines and scanners (all provided by Data Centre) are all installed and operational
as required in some 28 different sports and organisational locations.
Through their connections Data Centre have furthermore entered into arrangements with Domicilium of Castletown, a leading Internet Service Provider, to provide the server hosting facilities and hi-speed internet connectivity to enable the running of the Results Service during the lead up to the Games and during the week of the Games.
Much more to follow as the pace of preparation increases!
John Christal (2001 Results Co-ordinator)
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