Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Meet Team IOW - Gymnastics

The Gotland NatWest Island Games will see an Isle of Wight first as 16 year old Ryde School Pupil Jack Humphray from Bembridge competes in the Artistic Gymnastics event.

Jack has lived on the Island for his whole life and was formerly a pupil and St. Helens Primary and Bishop Lovett Middle Schools before moving to Ryde School, where he is currently studying for A Levels. He will be our only competitor in this sport.

Jack started his gymnastic career aged 4 at Queensway Gym in Ryde. At 7 he went to Portsmouth to train where after a few months of recreational gymnastics he was asked to join the boys Mens Artistic Gymnastics squad.

His gymnastic career hasn't been straightforward with changing coaches, the availability of facilities and the logistics of Island living! It has been a massive commitment for both him and his family for many years. Jack currently trains for around 20 hours a week in Horndean, all of which is self funded.

Jack has had success regionally and nationally over the years. In 2013 he was Men's National Tumbling Champion.

In 2016 he has competed twice:  Firstly at the Southern Region Championships where he earned Silver overall with Gold on both High bar and Vault. His other competition was the Pipers Vale Challenge where he was 4th overall with a Silver on High Bar.

Jack says he is excited to be taking part in the Island Games as it's the first time he will have travelled abroad to compete. He is is delighted to have the opportunity to represent his home Island. He knows the competition will be strong but Jack's aim is to put in a good solid all round performance and see what happens. He is busy learning more complex skills on each piece. His favourites being Rings and Floor.

To support Jack and other members of Team IOW please support our fundraising appeal at https://www.pledgesports.org/projects/gotland-2017-island-games/

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Crowdfunding Appeal

We are delighted to announce the start of our Crowdfunding Campaign to raise money for Team Isle of Wight to attend the NatWest Island Games in Gotland 2017.

The campaign has been designed with great assistance from PledgeSports and we hope that everyone on or connected with the Isle of Wight will want to support their team in getting to the games. The team is currently self funded as we have no central funding so the cost of attending the games to represent the Island will be in the region of £1,000 for each person.

The appeal has an initial target of £15,000 to supply everyone on the team with their uniform of Tracksuit, T Shirt and Shorts. If this target is exceeded, funds will help to reduce the travel and accommodation costs of the whole team and provide them with medical/massage support during the games so that everyone can compete to the best of their ability.

To support the campaign please follow the attached link to donate and also please share the appeal as widely as you can via Facebook, Twitter or other social media in order that other people or businesses can also contribute.

Through this appeal the Isle of Wight Team will be powered by the Island on route to Gold in Gotland.

Thank you.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Update August 2016

As the summer progresses so are our plans for getting to Gotland next summer.

The visit to Gotland in June was informative and a report has been sent to all sports team managers for their information regarding the sports venues and the plans of the host Island. They are keen to host a successful games and we hope to be a big part of that event.

We have secured a Charter plane for getting to Gotland which might be more expensive than scheduled flights but will enable us to travel together in one trip, will save us significant amounts of time, will potentially save us an overnight stay at the Airport (thus making it cost effective anyway) but most importantly will enable our sports teams to get to the Island without lengthy and tiring travel meaning they are in the best possible condition to take part when the games begin.

Fund Raising:
We have commenced two fund raising ideas. Firstly that we should support those who are young, unemployed, living in Poverty or otherwise financially unable to attend but are good enough to attend the games. We believe the team should be the best sports team we can offer not just those in a financial position to take part and therefore we opened the Gotland Support Fund. We have been given donations from the Daisy Rich Trust and The High Sheriffs' Trust and with the money raised from the London Marathon by Gill Bushell and at the raffle at the IW Sport Awards this fund stands just over £3,200. We will be looking to sports managers to identify those in need of a grant from this fund once teams are selected. We have other charitable bids awaiting confirmation for this fund.

The second aim of our fund raising is to try and obtain sponsorship for the Tracksuits and Team Uniform. We have not been able to secure a business sponsor and so are looking to something different...

In September we will be launching a "Crowd Funding" campaign. This will enable anyone on the Island to make a donation of any level to support "Team IOW". The campaign will be based on line and shared through social and local media with the hope that everyone on the Island will get behind us to at least fund the Team Uniform. If you can spare just a single £1 then that would be great but if you can give £10, £25, £50 or more then that will really give the team a huge boost.

The launch will coincide with Isle of Wight Day and on 24th September we hope to be at one of the main IOW Day events with an IOW Flag for people to sign with their support and to make a donation to our Crowdfunding campaign.

Our sports teams are in the main part of their competitive seasons and as the Olympics are taking place it was great to see Jess Andrews compete for Team GB at both the European Championships and then again at the Olympics. Each time she set a new personal best time for the 10,000m track event. Hopefully she will return for Team IOW in Gotland but this will depend on her international commitments.

Also in Athletics it has been great to see the Progress of Nick Percy in throws as he won the NCAA title in the USA before returning to the UK to win the national Discus title. He has now thrown over 63m and we hope he will get into the world championships next year.

Abi Lacey swam to Gold at the ASA age group nationals this year with Lottie James also picking up a Silver. It is great to see these girls progress and we hope to see them both in Gotland next summer.

There is lots of great sport here to be proud of and we will be getting the team announcements from our sports from the Autumn.

Roll on Gotland, Bring on the Games!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Update March 2016

The IW Sports Awards were hosted last Friday by the IW Sports Foundation and it was great to see that the winners of several categories went to our Team IOW sports men, women and teams. Picking up awards from our excellent performance in Jersey and for their performances during the rest of the year were:
Intermediate Girl, Izabella Blacklock (Swimming)
Senior Woman, Amy Clarke (Athletics)
Senior Man, Jordan Sundborg (Golf)
Senior Team, Island Games Shooting Squad
Masters Woman, Kath Bright (Shooting)
Coach, Lee Matthews (Tennis)
Island Games Special Award, Andy Frost (Athletics)
It was especially nice that Andy was given a special award for his dedication and commitment to the Island Games over the years after winning an unprecedented 8th consecutive Gold Medal in the Hammer in Jersey.
There were also potential future members of the IW Team in the junior sections with Golfer Albert Newman and swimmer Grace Poynter winning awards and we will watch their progress with interest as we move towards future games.

Preparations for the Gotland games are continuing with our uniform sub committee working towards a bespoke kit for future games to give us a distinctive look across all sports. We hope to be able to make an announcement soon with regard our preferred supplier and will announce our kit design when that is finalised. We are hoping that we can find a sponsor to help with the cost of this kit and will proudly display the logo of any company wishing to support Team IOW at future games.

Fundraising is always difficult but it was great that the IW Sports Foundation offered us the chance to run a raffle at their sports awards and we raised £420 towards the Gotland games fund. Our Charity Marathon runner, Gill Bushell, is continuing her training for the London Marathon in April and last weekend she completed her first ever half marathon at the Larmer Tree races near Salisbury. We hope that Gill will be able to raise a significant amount of money through her endeavours both for us and for the WheelPower charity. Watch our Facebook page for further fundraising activity taking place over the coming months.

Next on the agenda will be a short trip to Gotland in June to meet with the other management teams from our Island Games family of islands and the organising committee for the Gotland Games who will be showing us their island and its sporting facilities. We will also have the AGM of the international association to formally agree the host Island for 2021 as well as any other changes to the sporting rules or operational guidelines.

With spring now in the air we look forward to an excellent sporting summer and will hope to see the IW team begin to take shape during the year.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

2016 The Year to Plan

As is normal with a Biennial Games cycle there is a year when everything happens at once and there is a year when there is seemingly little happening, how wrong can that be...

Whilst there is no games in 2016, the planning will get into full swing for the games taking place in Gotland next year. Many of our sports teams will be holding selections this year as under games rules the team has to be declared by April 2017 and there is not the time to perform at a high level in many of the sports prior to then within a games year so this will be the year in which the next TeamIOW will take shape.

We have to plan our trip to Gotland. With nearly 200 people to travel and house on our next trip we have already started to secure hotels and are looking to find the most economical method of travelling both in terms of time and money to enable our sports teams to get to the games in the best possible shape to perform. The choice would be commercial travel taking in the region of 20 hours door to door with a need to travel in up to 4 groups or we take a more direct route and charter travel for the first time, something which we have discovered form our friends in other Islands is not as scary or expensive as it may sound, and will save us more than half on our travel time. There is also the small matter of identifying kit suppliers and design to support our teams in looking and feeling the part at this increasingly large international sporting event.

This is also the year in which we need to find the funds to take such a large team. Whilst each of the sports associations on the Island will be doing their own fundraising efforts we also need to try and help offset some of those central costs (Travel, Kit, Sports Therapy) as much as possible. We will be seeking a sponsor to help with this and are working with the IW Sports Foundation to hopefully achieve a joint sponsor whose name can become synonymous with Island Sport across the board and provide that sponsor with a continual marketplace for their branding.

On the subject of fundraising we have entered into a partnership with the charity WheelPower. There is no 'Parasport' element to the Island Games but this will enable us to support our sporting friends who use wheelchairs through the national charity who are based at Stoke Mandeville. The charity have provided us with a place in the 2016 Virgin London Marathon. Gill Bushell (competitor in many Island Games Badminton events) will be taking up the Marathon challenge to raise funds for both us and them this year. We wish Gill all the best and will be supporting her throughout her training. Hopefully reporting on her progress on this blog as we get closer to race day.

Finally this summer there is the IGA AGM to attend in Gotland. This will be a chance to visit the next host Island, see the sports venues, the accommodation and all that the Island has to offer and report back to the sports team managers. This is a long rather hectic weekend in which the business of the games is resolved to make 2017 and beyond a great games.

We look forward to the games and look forward to your continued support in the year ahead.

Martin Goodall

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Jersey Medal Table

The final medal table from the Jersey games saw the Isle of Wight in 7th place with a total of 35 medals. This represents our best performance (with the exception of our home games in 2011) since 2003.

The total number of medals won by the Isle of Wight since the Biennial International Island Games began in 1985 is now 504 with 160 Gold, 154 Silver and 190 Bronze medals and we have moved up to 6th in the all time medal table overtaking Aland as a result of the great performance at this years games.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Team IOW - Team Update

There will be 174 Competitors from the Isle of Wight heading to the 16th Biennial NatWest Island Games in Jersey which start on Saturday 27 June. The week long games will see Islanders compete in 12 of the available 14 sports and we have high hopes of bringing back medals across the whole range of competition.
The team come from all corners of the Island and range in age from our youngest competitor, swimmer Megan King who will turned 14 just 8 weeks prior to the games up to our oldest, 68 year old Derek Toms who will take part in target shooting.
At the opening ceremony the Isle of Wight flag will be carried by Hammer Thrower, Andy Frost. Andy has been the Hammer champion at the games for every year the event has been held since 1999. He has represented both England and Scotland at the Commonwealth games and is in with a huge chance of adding a further Gold medal to his tally.
Also at the opening ceremony one of the competitors will be given the opportunity to take part in the ‘water ceremony’ when one competitor from each Island will pour water from their home Island into a ceremonial water feature to symbolise the Islands coming together through the one thing that  unites us all, the water surrounding our shores. In Bermuda that honour went to Badminton player Georgia Dye who this time returns as a member of the Football squad.
Also switching sports this time, Mary Norman and Jack Grundy take part in the Triathlon as part of a 10 person squad having both competed in the Half Marathon in 2011. Also in the Triathlon is Natalie Bee who will be the only one of our team competing in two separate sports as she will also be lining up as part of the Ladies Cycling team.
Overall the IOW team has a good level of competitive experience across the board. We have competitors with international and national experience and plenty of competitors who have taken part in previous Island Games, most recently in Bermuda back in 2013 but also at the hugely successful games here on the Isle of Wight in 2011.
Our male football team brought down the curtain on the IOW games in style by taking the Gold medal by beating Guernsey 4-2 in the final after beating this years hosts Jersey 1-0 in their Semi Final. The Channel Island teams are sure to be out for revenge on home soil. Our ladies team were undefeated in 2011 but missed out on playing in the final stages due to a complex system group system. They will be looking to make amends this time.
Of the small team who did go to Bermuda two years ago, all our male and female golfers came home with team Silver medals after some excellent golf on the tough course which is home to the professional ‘Grand Slam’ tournament. Our men missed out on gold to the hosts by a single shot after the 12 counting rounds were totalled. This years teams look every bit as strong and will be out to win gold this time.
The swimmers in Bermuda posted an incredible set of results with more than 60 personal best times many of which were the best times ever recorded by an IOW swimmer. Several of that squad are back in action this time, 2 years stronger and more experienced they will surely be looking to convert great times into medals.
Our only individual medallist from Bermuda is also back and looking to go one better this time. Dom Cowan, took Silver in small bore rifle shooting. The shooting squad takes the notion of sibling rivalry to its extreme with 4 members of the Moss family taking part; Imogen, Rex, Guy and Shelley will be keen to prove who is the family top shot. The squad also contains several Islanders who have made steps onto the international stage including Commonwealth medalist Richard Wilson.
Richard took part in the first games back in 1985 on the Isle of Man, also in that team was Badminton player Gill Bushell who also returns to bring a wealth of experience to the team. In other racket sports a younger team takes part in the Tennis tournament hoping to gain valuable experience leading them forward to future games.
Sailing is one of the few sports where mens and women compete on equal terms and Sophie Heritage will be looking to pitch her skills, which rank her as the 4th best girl sailor in the country, against a mainly male fleet in the difficult Jersey waters.
Our Archers will be looking for more than the two medals they gained in 2011 which was the last time the sport was part of the games, Steve Bollen returns and will be looking to improve on his individual silver.
Our Basketball team face a tough task in a group with Saaremaa and the Isle of Man but will be hoping to build on their performance in 2011 when the finished 8th overall in the process beating the Isle of Man team.
On the athletics track we will have several good medal chances and hopes of good performances former Island Games Medalists Amy Church, Helen Davis and James Groocock will be joined by international Discus Thrower Nick Percy. The squad also includes Grace Crumplin who, 4 years ago, took part in the first ever IOW ParkRun event and makes her Island Games debut alongside current regular young Parkrunners; Michael Ilott, Sam Metcalf proving that community sport links directly into high level competition.
Our male cyclists are drawn mainly from the strong Wightlink-LCM cycling team and have have plenty of experience in racing across the South of England. With a cyclist named Wiggins in the team surely the team will do well as Tim Wiggins will be hoping to emulate his knighted namesake by winning in Jersey.
Finally, the Clay shooting team includes Dan Bishop, Mark Downer and Lee Pitman, all former gold medalists from the 2011 games who will be hoping to repeat that success in Jersey.
All the members of “Team IOW” will be performing at their very best in the hope of sporting success, they will have trained for their event in all weathers throughout the last 2 years since the games were held and for many this is the first chance to compete at an International Island Games. They will join 3000 other competitors for 7 days of competition in the Jersey sunshine.
Updates will be available throughout the games via IW Radio, IW County Press and online through the IW Island Games Facebook and Twitter feeds. Please follow and support your team as they take on other sporting Islanders from across the globe in a truly international event.