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Deadline looms for registration

Teams intending to participate in this summer’s NatWest Island Games in Bermuda have until the end of this week to register.

Preparation work continues for the Games which are six months away and Jon Beard, Chairman of the Bermuda Island Games Association, is expecting a memorable event involving about 1,800 athletes from 24 countries, including about 200 representing Bermuda in the various sports.

“The deadline for teams to register is the end of this week and by all accounts we seem to be doing pretty well. We seem to have been on track when we were estimating about 1,800 competitors and we’re still hopeful that’s where we going to be,” said Beard. “The Falklands and St. Helena, two of the furthest afield, are making every effort to be here.

“Things are coming through that need to be done, such as a special floor for badminton which will be at BHS. They play badminton at BAA so they will put it down at BAA gym floor for the future. There are things that are going on that are going to benefit all of the sports long term.”

In July the Bermuda Island Games Association hosted about 50 delegates from 22 member islands to inspect the facilities for the 15th Games that will take place from July 13-19 and involve 14 sports: athletics, badminton, cycling, football, golf, gymnastics, sailing, sailboarding, target shooting, squash, swimming, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.

During his visit to Bermuda in July, Jorgen Petterson, Chairman of the International Island Games Association, praised the Island’s facilities and the hard work put in by Beard’s committee to bring the Games here.

“Jon and his team tried to get the Games earlier but lost in a bidding fight to the Isle of Wight, but they did not give up and came back and were even stronger and had an even better team on board,” said Petterson at the time. His Scandinavian island Aland hosted the Games four years ago.

Bermuda will use a various facilities across the Island to host the various sports, including athletics, football and swimming at the National Sports Centre as the new aquatics centre hosts its first major event.

Sailing will be based out of the Spanish Point Boat Club while triathlon will be staged at Clearwater Beach and indoor volleyball at Berkeley and Mount St. Agnes.

“CedarBridge is one of the venues for accommodation, but for us the biggest issue was transport and trying to find enough transport,” said Beard yesterday.

“If we’ve got a good number who are going to be using the stadium for swimming or for track and field and can host a number of those at CedarBridge then it makes the transport situation significantly easier.

“We’re thrashing along well and looking forward to it. We’re getting a lot of support in the community and still raising money, but we are getting to where we need to be.”

Added Beard: “The opportunity is there for a full Bermuda team and that will be fantastic. We’ve got TV and radio coming from a lot of the Islands so there is a lot of international press and exposure that comes with it. I think it will be a terrific opportunity for the whole Island to be involved, one way or the other.

“People can come out and watch and enjoy sports they normally maybe wouldn’t be watching.”

The International Island Games were founded in the Isle of Man in 1985 and today include 24 member islands in, or associated with, the nine sovereign nations of Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain and the Caribbean. Bermuda first appeared in the Games in 2003 in Guernsey and in five Games since then the Island has sent over 700 athletes and won more than 100 medals.

Sports and venues

Athletics (National Sports Centre)

Badminton (Bermuda High School)

Basketball (Bermuda College, CedarBridge Academy)

Beach volleyball (Horseshoe Bay)

Boardsailing (Spanish Point Boat Club)

Cycling (Island-wide)

Football (BFA and BAA Field)

Gymnastics (Bermuda Gymnastics Centre)

Sailing (Spanish Point Boat Club)

Shooting (Warwick Camp)

Golf (Port Royal)

Triathlon (Clearwater Beach)

Indoor volleyball (Berkeley and Mount St. Agnes Academy)

Tennis (WER Joell Tennis Stadium)

Swimming (Aquatics Centre)

Jon Beard: Chairman of the Bermuda Island Games Association

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Published January 09, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 08, 2013 at 8:52 pm)

Deadline looms for registration

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