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Nine medals won on final day of Island Games

July 12th, 2019 by

Team Isle of Wight ended the 2019 Island Games with 34 medals – eight more than two years ago – after a brilliant final day in Gibraltar.

Two golds, three silver and four bronze medals were won by the Isle of Wight, who finished ninth in the overall medal table.

Charlie Metcalfe became the first ever Island woman to win the half-marathon, helping the ladies’ team, which included Laura Brackley and Rosie Sexton, to a silver medal.

Metcalfe said: “I was so elated. It was amazing and I’m so happy.

“It was a tough race, I stayed close to the front two and I tried to keep it sensible.

“I was able to pick it up and I couldn’t believe that I was in front.

“We’re all so happy to win team silver too, what a great race for us.”

Richard Clifton won gold in the IPSC standard pistol and a bronze with Ian Grimes in the team event.

Also in rifle shooting, Dom Cowen won silver in the 50m prone, with Andy Whittall took bronze.

Team Isle of Wight won three table tennis bronze medals in the men’s singles, doiubles and mixed doubles.

The team’s flag carrier in the opening ceremony, Dan Burns, won his 13th Island Games medal playing alongside George Downing in the men’s doubles.

Downing also won bronze in the men’s singles and silver in the mixed doubles with Temeesha Hobbs.

The closing ceremony will be held tonight (Friday).

Dramatic end to penultimate day of Island Games

July 12th, 2019 by

The penultimate day at the 2019 Island Games ended in dramatic style for Team Isle of Wight.

Four medals – a silver and three bronze – were all won last night (Thursday), to follow another silver won by Perron Phipps in air pistol shooting earlier in the day.

In the pool, Abi Lacey swam a new PB to take silver in the 100m individual medley.

Megan King swam her fastest time to win bronze in the 50m backstroke, before the ladies’ team won bronze in the 4 x 100m medley relay.

The Island agonisingly thought they had missed out before they were awarded bronze when the Faroe Islands were disqualified.

In athletics, Bridget Fryer won bronze in discus and on the track.

Swim coach Val Gard said: “It has been an amazing week.

“The medals have been wonderful but we’ve also had loads of personal best swims too.

“Our swimmers have really worked hard, not just over the last six months but over several years.

“To see them get rewarded for that is just fantastic.”

There was also success in table tennis, where the Isle of Wight played their way into medal-winning matches in the men’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

The Isle of Wight’s squash team also has a chance of winning a bronze medal today (Friday).

Elsewhere, the Island has medal hopes in athletics, rifle shooting, clay shooting and this morning’s half marathon.

Twenty medals for Team Isle of Wight

July 11th, 2019 by

Team Isle of Wight has 20 Island Games medals after four days of competition in Gibraltar.

In judo, Dan Blinkhorn continued the team’s medal streak with gold in the men’s open category on Wednesday.

Dan Eckersley added to his steeplechase gold by taking bronze in the 5000m and Imogen Moss also won bronze in the 25m air pistol shooting.

In squash, Amelie Haworth and ladies’ doubles partner Fleur Orchard won bronze in their event.

Team Isle of Wight chairman Martin Goodall said: “We’re having an amazing Island Games.

“Medals are wonderful but we’ve also had so many competitors gaining personal bests.

“Across the board it has been a great success and hopefully we have some more to come.

“Our team is giving their best and that’s all I can ask for.

“We’ve had great support from back home, it means a huge amount, so thank you to everyone for getting behind us.”

In basketball, Team Isle of Wight signed off with a hard-fought 46-44 win against the Faroe Islands.

Six more medals for Team Isle of Wight

July 10th, 2019 by

Six more medals were won by Team Isle of Wight on the third day of competition at the 2019 Island Games.

The Island ended the day fifth in the overall medal table with 15 after a gold and five bronze medals were added to the tally.

In shooting, Matt Reed and Perron Phipps won their second gold of the games with victory in the men’s team 10m pistol event.

Imogen Moss won bronze in the ladies’ standard pistol.

The surprise of the day came at the track, where Mabel Lewis, who was selected to give her Island Games experience, won bronze in the ladies’ 1500m.

Athletics coach Nick Groocock said: “It was an outrageous run by Mabel.

“A medal was not anywhere near the radar for her so to win bronze was an unbelievable achievement.

“I hoped there would be a surprise or two from our team and Mabel absolutely delivered one.

“We’re super proud of her.”

Team Isle of Wight’s youngest competitor, 13-year-old Amelie Haworth, lived up to her potential by winning bronze in the ladies’ squash.

Abi Lacey, pictured, won her second medal of the games with bronze in the 200m individual medley, where just 0.5 seconds separated the top three swimmers.

And in Judo, Ben Maher won the team’s third judo medal by taking bronze in the men’s 100kg event.

Elsewhere, Team Isle of Wight’s basketball team narrowly lost to the Isle of Man 60-53.

The men’s cycling time trials tested Isle of Wight riders, as they had to climb the 426m high Gibraltar rock to finish the race.

George Corbin was first Isle of Wight rider home in 23rd from 48 riders.

Memorable medal-winning Monday for Team Isle of Wight

July 9th, 2019 by

Team Isle of Wight won five gold medals and two silvers on a memorable second day at the 2019 Island Games.

Two golds in judo and athletics, plus another in rifle shooting, took the Isle of Wight to seven golds overall.

Yesterday’s (Monday’s) heroics meant the team has already equalled its final gold medal total from the 2017 Island Games in Gotland.

Shooters Dom Cowen and Andy Whittall got the gold rush underway by winning the 50m prone rifle team event.

In judo, sisters Hannah and Emily Niven, aged 16 and 18, won the women’s 52kg and 63kg respectively.

Emily said: “I was quite surprised, I was just coming here to gain experience and to see how it went.

“I didn’t expect to win a medal, let alone gold.”

On the track, James Forman won gold in the men’s 400m hurdles and dedicated the win to his dad,

Forman said: “It means a lot.

“My dad coaches me – he’s had quite a stressful few years with illness so to come out here and win for him was amazing.

“I broke the record on the Island in 2011 – that was the aim this time but the wind was tough, at times I felt like I was almost running backwards so I just had to grit my teeth.

“I’m really happy to win gold.”

Dan Eckersley also won gold, comfortably retaining his 3000m steeplechase title he won in Gotland two years ago.

Eckersley said: “I came here to win it so job done, I’m happy.

“The race went to plan, the conditions with the wind made it nasty at times but it was the same for everyone.

“Really pleased and I can now focus on the 5k.”

Team Isle of Wight won their first medal in the pool after Abigail Lacey became the fastest ever Island female swimmer in the 400m individual medley to take silver.

Shooting sisters Imogen and Shelley Moss also added to their medal tally by winning silver in the ladies’ pair pistol event.

Elsewhere, the Island’s table tennis team exceeded expectations to finish fifth overall.

Coach Dan Burns said: “It was an epic performance by the team, they played their absolute hearts out and while we didn’t win a medal, I could not be more pleased.

“We played Jersey and Guernsey, who both reached the final, so against a very tough group, we did brilliantly.”

In squash, Amelie Haworth, 13, battled through a tough quarter final before narrowly losing in the semi-final against the Caymen Islands.

Today (Tuesday), she’ll play for a bronze medal.





Three medals for Team Isle of Wight on first day of Island Games

July 8th, 2019 by

Team Isle of Wight ended the first day of competition at the 2019 Island Games with two golds and a silver medal – all in shooting.

Matt Reed, Imogen Moss, Shelley Moss and Perron Phipps.

Sisters Imogen and Shelley Moss won gold in the ladies’ standard pistol team event, to follow their silver in the sports pistol.

Matt Reed and Perron Phipps won the team’s first gold of the games after winning the men’s 50m team pistol competition.

Shelley said: “We’re really happy.

“The pressure was ten times worse than I’ve known it before, my stomach was turning the entire time.

“It’s a big relief to win and hopefully we can add some more.”

Elsewhere, 13-year-old squash star Amelie Haworth won her first match 11-0, 11-1 to stay in contention for a medal.

In badminton, Team Isle of Wight beat Gotland 4-1 and the Western Isles 5-0 and in table tennis the Isle of Wight still has medal hopes after progressing through the ‘group of death’.

The men’s doubles tennis team also enjoyed a memorable victory against the Cayman Islands, who took revenge in basketball with 103-42 over the Island.

The Island’s triathletes all featured in the first event of this year’s games, with Dave Sweet first home in the men’s event in 13th.

Jan Fletcher and Lizzie Steward, both nursing injuries, finished the ladies’ race in 16th and 17th respectively.

In last night’s town centre criterium, the Island’s cycling team finished 7 and in athletics, Paul Cook ran well to finish 11th in the men’s 10k race.

Today (Monday), competitive swimming and judo gets underway, alongside all the other events involving Isle of Wight competitors.


Opening ceremony marks the start of 2019 Island Games

July 6th, 2019 by

The 2019 NatWest Island Games is officially underway in Gibraltar.

Around 2,500 competitors from 24 islands, including about 140 from the Isle of Wight, featured in tonight’s (Saturday’s) parade at the opening ceremony.

Nine-time table tennis gold medallist Dan Burns carried the Island’s flag, while 13-year-old squash star Amelie Haworth delivered the Isle of Wight’s water, which was mixed with samples from all the islands as part of a ceremonial tradition.

The Isle of Wight will compete in 12 sports during the week-long games - athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, judo, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, tennis, table tennis and triathlon.

The competition starts tomorrow (Sunday).

Team Isle of Wight all set for Island Games

July 5th, 2019 by

For many athletes from the Isle of Wight, competing in the Island Games is the pinnacle of their sporting lives.

Often dubbed a ‘mini Olympics’, the event brings together islands from across the world for seven days of international competition.

The 2019 games – taking place in Gibraltar this month – will involve more than 100 competitors from the Isle of Wight.

Twenty three islands will compete in 12 sports - athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, judo, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, tennis, table tennis and triathlon.

Martin Goodall, of the Isle of Wight Island Games Association, will be overseeing his third games as chairman.

Martin competed in the 1993 Island Games, held on the Isle of Wight, winning a silver medal in the triple jump and a bronze in high jump.

“It’s a very exciting event to take part in,” he said.

“It was a highlight of my athletics career and it will be the highlight for many of our competitors this time around.

“For some, it’ll be a great chance to experience an international event, with a view to building on this year for future games.

“For others, it’ll be a real chance to win a medal and we have a few hopefuls, who we’re confident have a great chance.

“It gives athletes from the Isle of Wight a chance to compete alongside each other as one team, which is really special.”

Medallists from previous games return to the squad for Gibraltar.

Runner Dan Eckersley, who won gold in 2017, Anna Showan, a badminton medallist from 2011, and sisters Imogen and Shelley Moss, who between them won a clutch of medals two years ago, all feature.

Nine-time table tennis gold medallist, Dan Burns, also returns, with the extra responsibility of carrying the Island flag during the opening ceremony.

“I first took part in the Island Games in Gibraltar in 1995, so to have this privilege 24 years on is something very special and feels as though it has come full circle,” Dan said.

“I’ve had some amazing moments in the Island Games and to lead the team out in Gibraltar will be right up there with them.”

While medals are important, Martin and his colleagues within the Isle of Wight Island Games Association, only ask individuals to give their all.

“I want everyone to have the best possible time, to perform at their best and deliver after all the weeks and months and years of training.

“If they perform at their best - that can mean winning gold or coming last – but it’s about giving their everything and leaving nothing out there.

“The Isle of Wight will be very proud of them for being their best, that’s all we hope for.”

The Isle of Wight Island Games Association was recently granted charity status, which officials hope will help with future fundraising and sponsorship.

Ahead of the 2019 event, support from businesses and other Island organisations have boosted the squad.

Software company ICRTouch, based at Sandown, renewed its sponsorship deal with Team Isle of Wight to cover the cost of the squad’s Island Games kit.

Other sizeable donations – including from the Isle of Wight Sports Foundation, Newport Grammar School Trust, Wight Aid and Newport Business Association, have also been received.

The money has helped cover travel and accommodation costs for competitors either in low-paid work or those still in education or training.

Martin added: “It costs around £800 per person to go but we’ve always tried to ensure people who deserve to go, based on their sporting ability, are not priced out.

“We’re hugely grateful for all the support we’ve had to help us get to Gibraltar.”

With just days to go before the games gets underway (it starts on Saturday, July 6th) the squad is now ready.

For Martin and his colleagues, it follows months of planning and organising but, come the start of the competition, it will all be worth it.

“I’ve been involved in sport all my life and I just wanted to pay something back and help provide people opportunities I had given to me, thanks to the efforts of others.

“We all do this voluntarily because of what it means to sports people on the Isle of Wight.

“I had the time and motivation to take on this role and, for me, it’s all about giving our athletes the experience.

“It’s always an incredibly emotional week. To see people achieve their goals and perform at their best when it matters most is an amazing experience.

“To be there to share all the ups and downs of the week is a real rollercoaster but it makes all the hard work to get us there very worthwhile.

“I’ll be an emotional wreck by the time it’s over but I can’t wait to watch our competitors in action.”

To follow all the action from the 2019 Island Games, visit the Isle of Wight Island Games Association’s Facebook page or follow @IOWIGA on Twitter.





Kit sponsor for athletics squad

February 18th, 2019 by

TEAM Isle of Wight’s biggest Island Games athletics squad since 2011 has been kitted out for this year’s event, thanks to a new sponsor.

The squad will head to Gibraltar in July sporting a new bespoke kit, courtesy of Churcher’s Solicitors, Ryde.

Athletics manager Nick Groocock said: “We’re taking experienced athletes who will be hoping to bring back a haul of medals, as well as some young but talented athletes who we have high hopes for the future.

“As ever, the cost of competing at the Games is always challenging so the sponsorship from Churcher’s has helped enormously."

Churcher’s managing partner Ian Robinson added: “We are proud to support the athletics team in the upcoming Island Games.

“We wish them the best of luck in competing and look forward to following their progress.”

The 2019 Island Games runs between 6 and 12 July.


Crowdfunding Appeal Launched

November 30th, 2018 by

A crowdfunding appeal has been set up to give all Team Isle of Wight hopefuls the chance to take part in the next Island Games.

A 142 strong squad from the Isle of Wight will head to Gibraltar in July next year to compete against other Islands from across the world. However, unlike many of those other Islands, Team IOW receive no central funding support leaving our team members to fund themselves.

It will cost each individual around £800 to go and team managers want to select people for their talent, not their financial circumstances.

Martin Goodall, chairman of the Isle of Wight Island Games Association, said: “We don’t want money to stop us from taking the best team possible from the Isle of Wight.

“Many of those we could select are either still at school or college or not working for different reasons.

“This event is like a mini Olympics and it’s something our athletes will never forget.

“Our team members are hugely talented, dedicated and are proud to represent the Island, We would love the Island community to get behind the team through our crowdfunding appeal to help us ensure no-one who deserves to go misses out.”

Team Isle of Wight will compete in 12 sports in Gibraltar – athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, judo, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis, tennis and triathlon.

The event runs from 6 to 12 July 2019.

To make a donation to the appeal, visit https://teamiow.org.uk/donate/

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