Shetland Island Games could cost £1,200 per person

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However, the chairman of Jersey’s Island Games committee, Derek Bernard, is upbeat about the many ways this cost can be brought down.At a meeting of the executive committee last night, various fund-raising events were mentioned.These include a ‘breakfast talk’ by John Blashford-Snell at the Pomme d’Or Hotel on Wednesday, 3 March, a ‘1,000 challenge’ and a series of ‘big breakfasts’ which the Island Games committee last organised four years ago.While the illustrated talk will be a straightforward affair, with Islanders paying to listen to the Jerseyman recounting some of his many adventures, the ‘1,000 challenge’ is very different.On the basis that the distance between Jersey and the Shetlands is around 1,000 km, the idea is that every sport will be invited to participate in a sponsored two-day event at Les Quennevais on 11 and 12 July next year.So, for example, the archers might be sponsored to shoot 1,000 arrows, the swimmers to swim 1,000 lengths and the hurdlers to hurdle 1,000 hurdles.’One of the advantages of this idea is that when we hold the event, every penny raised will go directly to the sport concerned,’ said Bernard.

‘Those who work hardest will benefit most.’The return of a series of ‘big breakfasts’ after four years’ absence will also help to cut the costs of travel and accommodation for the 2005 Games.Before the 2001 Games 4,500 people paid for breakfasts at the Pomme d’Or Hotel and in doing so raised £18,900.

There is also the idea of a sports’ stars auction, with as many sports memorabilia as possible being sold, again to raise money for the Games.’In the past we relied on Sport, Leisure and Recreation to pay up to 50 per cent of the travel costs,’ said Bernard.

‘But in the current climate as the government is trying to put its finances in order, what we will get in two years’ time remains the unknown.’If we all beaver away at fund-raising I hope that we can bring the overall cost down by several hundred pounds.

I might be sticking my neck out, but I’d hope to bring it down to around £700 per competitor.

That won’t happen, though, without a great deal of hard work.’As regards funding from the States, deputy director of Education, Sport and Culture, Derek de la Haye, said: ‘No decision has yet been made about the level of support, but I have no doubt that the advisory council for Sport and Leisure and the committee will recommend that support be given.’

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