Still hope for Island Games ‘outcasts’

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Derek Bernard, Island Games Association of Jersey Chairman, had already spoken publicly at the ‘decision’ of the committee but thanked the Jersey Evening Post this morning for alerting him to the administrative error.He had spoken of his disappointment that those involved in judo, netball and bowls would never get the chance to compete at the Island Games again.The original minutes read that certain items had been ‘carried’ instead of reading they had been deferred.Speaking this morning from Gotland, International Island Games Chairman Bo Frykenstam, apologised to Bernard.

‘Unfortunately our secretary misunderstood the situation at our AGM in Guernsey and a mistake was spotted in the minutes after they had been sent out.’We did send a correction to all members in October but obviously Derek has never received this.

I intend to sort this out today.’The embarrassing mistake surrounds 17 proposals that were made at the AGM in July in Guernsey to improve the way the Games operate.

The most controversial item was to permanently restrict the number of sports allowed in the Games to a list of 16.The proposal would mean the loss of sports like netball, judo and bowls and would also withdraw the privilege of a host island being able to nominate a sport of its choice.But because of the nature of the proposals they were deferred to the next AGM in Shetland next year.

Members of the international committee were also given until December to submit their views on the matter but that deadline has now been extended until the end of next month.Bernard said: ‘Obviously I am delighted that the JEP has pointed this mistake out because we were all under the impression that the decisions had been made.’What this development does give us is an opportunity now to persuade other members to vote against this proposal.

We do not accept that the Games are getting too big and we believe host islands should be able to choose how big a Games they can manage.’These proposals are creating problems where there aren’t any.

Some people are worrying that the Games are becoming too big and popular and I think that reflects the success of the events.

At least we now have a bit more time.’Ann Halliwell, president of the Jersey Netball Association, said: ‘We were very disappointed when we first heard the news because it meant that we were out and never had a chance of getting back in.’But at least we now have the opportunity to lobby members to make sure we still have the option to compete.

We won the gold in the Isle of Wight when we were a demonstration sport and worked hard to make a good impression, but have not been invited since.

It is a shame because less popular sports are still included.’

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