Many of the competitors and spectators who attended the opening ceremony
of the VIII NatWest Island Games in Gotland this year will not forget this
site as the sun goes down over the Baltic Sea. It set the scene for the
organising committee for the 2001 Games to what was to be a thoroughly
enjoyable and exhausting week! On receiving our two vehicles on the Sunday
afternoon, we endeavoured to visit all 14 venues for the Games by the end of
Wednesday. This would enable us to get a feel of what Gotland had achieved
in the staging of the Games in 1999.
Gotland is about twice the size of the Isle of Man and we did spend a
considerable amount of time traveling to places like Slite, Hemse, Gumbalde
and Farosund. Similarly many evening meals were taken around midnight!
Lessons were learned very quickly on the Sunday when we tried to board a
coach to the Ice Stadium to watch the Volleyball it was full. If it wasn't
for the hard bargaining which one of the group entered into with a coach
driver who was having a break at the depot we would have been stranded!
So we arrived a little late at the venue only to discover that the
programme had been changed slightly and the IOM team would not be playing
for another 4 hours! More lessons learned!
Suffice to say, the Organising committee for 2001 came away with a wealth
of knowledge which we are currently putting to good use.
All the venues for the 2001 Games have been finalised and each of the 15
Sports Co-ordinators are working hard in the preparation for their sport. I
am certain that everyone involved in sport on the Isle of Man will assist
our co-ordinators in every way possible to make sure that each of the sports
are delivered in a professional way within the resources we have available.
Without these kind of volunteers, the Island Games could not happen.
Remember Gotland had over 1,000 volunteers...you couldn't miss them, they
were the ones in the blue polo shirts! We will be making an appeal in the
near future for people on the Isle of Man to come forward and volunteer for
many of jobs which will have to be done if we are to make the next Island
Games....its home coming. the most successful yet.