We started work on the matter before the Guernsey Games, with research into travel costs and accommodation and so on, and we debated the subject – parts of it, anyway – at our committee meeting last night,’ Bernard said.’The executive needs to collect as much detail as possible and work out the huge range of variables.
‘There’s the cost of chartering small planes to fly the team straight to the Shetlands to set against the cost of flying up and then staying on a cruise ship offshore, or sailing all the way there from the Channel Islands.’Whether we stay in accommodation in the Shetlands – if we do that the team will be spread over an area of about 40 miles – or the possible effects on athletes of seasickness and the continual motion of a ship if we stay on a ship – all these have to be taken into consideration and all the best alternatives put forward this year.’He said it was vital that all the team members work to that deadline.The reason for thinking so far ahead is due to Bernard’s feeling that, for the Guernsey Games, there had been ‘a natural tendency by the team captains to think that because Guernsey was just over the water, there was no rush and they could leave it all to the last minute.’As a result there was some sloppy team selection,’ Bernard said, although he added that he was most certainly not referring to the quality of team selection.’We took a superb team to Guernsey.
I mean sloppy in the admininstration sense.
It was lackadaisical, leaving it all to the last minute so that in the days just before we left we dicovered that the team sizes were not as we had aniticipated.
There were also people dropping out for reasons which were nothing to do with illness or injury which, of course, we understand as a bona fide reason.
‘And there was some confusion over travel, with athletes going on different sailings than we had been told, and the Association has ended up paying twice for them and are left with difficulties in providing proof to the ferry companies to get refunds.’We treat the money we have with care and Shetland will be expensive – at the moment the estimate is that it’ll cost between £600 and £1,000 per athlete.
Every penny counts and fund-raising will be required, so losing money by having to pay fares for people who did not use them due to slack organisation is a frustration,’ he said.While the identities of individual participants will not be required at once, Bernard wants to know the total number of likely participants before the end of the year.’I wouldn’t describe it as a logistical nightmare – it is more a fascinating and complicated challenge to put the best package together.’