Golf juniors welcome to fly flag in Shetland

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Mike Weaver returned from holiday last night and said this morning that the Union had received a letter from the Island Games Association wanting to know, by 19 December, whether a team would be travelling.’They didn’t give us much time to make a decision but we had a meeting and spoke to the players who would probably be selected and it has been decided that we won’t send a team.

At the time we were asked the information we received wasn’t definite about travel and accommodation arrangements and costs, and the amount of time off that would have to be taken, and we couldn’t commit so far ahead of the Games.

The best teams we play against in the Island Games are Guernsey and the Isle of Man, and we play Guernsey several times every year in various competitions – it’s a long way to go for another match against Guernsey!’He added that it seemed to be forgotten that not all the players – who are, after all, amateurs – have jobs which provide generous time off and paid holidays.’A couple of our potential team members would not be paid for the time they’d be away,’ Weaver pointed out.However, he said he had read Trevor Gray’s comments in yesterday’s JEP, regarding the possibility of sending a low-handicap junior team to represent Jersey, with great interest.’We have some very good juniors who play off handicaps of one or two, who are as good as many who compete in the Games.

I think Trevor’s idea is an excellent one, and I’ll be speaking to him as soon as I can about it.’Island Games Association chairman Derek Bernard confirmed that sporting organisations had been asked to respond to their letter by 19 December, with details of whether a team would be travelling and the probable numbers, as well as their travel preferences.’We gave them five weeks to respond which seemed reasonable, but it is quite fair of Mike to say that the final choice – whether to charter a plane direct or to travel on the cruise ship – had not been made.

The committee will vote next week, and I’d stick my neck out and say that the direct charter option will probably be the choice, it is the overwhelming preference in the questionnaires we sent out.

If that option is taken then the sportsmen and women would be away from Jersey from the Saturday to the following Saturday, a total of eight days.’He added: ‘Accommodation is out of our control, but the organisers in Shetland have said they are definitely chartering the cruise ship for accommodation, and that all the Jersey athletes – except those from gymnastics, table-tennis and sailing – will be living on the Van Gogh.

For those other three there will be acceptable accommodation within the Shetland communities near the sports facilities they’ll be using, and that accommodation will be cheaper than on the ship.’And Bernard said he was delighted to hear that a junior golf team may go to the Games.’I think that sending people to the Games – some who might otherwise never get the chance to represent their Island in an international forum – is a good thing, and sending out youngsters like the golfers who are at the start of their competitive career is super.’

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