Team Isle of Man competitors and officials were given a warm welcome when they returned to the Island from the Commonwealth Games on Monday [August 4] evening. The majority of the squad travelled by road from Glasgow to Heysham where they boarded a Steam Packet ferry.
Friends, family and fans were at the Sea Terminal to cheer the squad as they entered the arrivals hall. Also there to welcome the national team were President of Tynwald, The Hon Clare Christian MLC; Geoff Corkish MBE, MLC, Member of the Department of Education and Children; and David Anderson MHK, Member of the Department of Education and Children with responsibility for sport. Mr Anderson is also a former Commonwealth Games competitor having represented the Isle of Man in the 400metres and 400metres hurdles at the 1978 Games in Canada.
The President of Tynwald gave a short speech in which she said that the whole Island was proud of the team and thanked them all for their efforts which saw competitors flying the Manx flag in nine sports. Department of Education and Children Minister Tim Crookall MHK visited the squad while they were competing in Glasgow and also praised the team’s achievements.
Thanks to Peter Kennaugh’s silver medal in the track cycling points race, the Isle of Man finished 29th in the final Glasgow 2014 medals table. However, Team Isle of Man was 5th in a table compiled by the BBC based on medals won per head of population, which put our national team above that of Scotland (6th), New Zealand (7th), Wales (8th), Australia (12th), Northern Ireland (13th), England (16th), Canada (18th), South Africa (22nd), India (33rd), and Pakistan (36th). Juliet Holt, President of the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association (IOMCGA), said:
“We’re extremely proud of how the squad represented the Island, it was very much a team effort with everyone supporting each other during the whole competition. There was a tremendous spirit in the camp with competitors who had completed their own events attending other sports to cheer on team mates. We were delighted to see Peter Kennaugh win a silver medal in the velodrome, but everyone in the team did their best and many achieved personal records.
"All of the competitors can be proud of what they achieved in Glasgow, and I’m sure that their performances will help to inspire Manx competitors aiming to compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, and the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa next year, and in St Lucia in 2017.”
Sending strong teams to the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games is only possible with fundraising initiatives organised by IOMCGA. It is a registered charity, and while the Association receives some funding from Isle of Man Sport (an organisation which receives funding from Isle of Man Government and various trusts and foundations) there is no direct funding for Team Isle of Man from Government.
In order for the Island to send a team to the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games, IOMCGA has to raise funds by organising events and seeking donations from individuals and businesses. A vital part of fundraising in the build-up to Glasgow 2014 was the Team Isle of Man Champions initiative supported by Auxesia, Creechurch Capital, Heron & Brearley, IOMA Fund and Investment Management Limited, Isle of Man Creamery, Karsons Pharmacy, Manx Telecom, MM&C, Skanco and SMP Partners.
Mrs Holt added: “IOMCGA is very grateful to our Team Isle of Man Champions and Isle of Man Sport for their support, and we hope our national team’s success at Glasgow 2014 will inspire more organisations to back our fundraising initiatives for the next three Commonwealth events in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
"With these three events in locations so far from the Island, the costs of transporting the squad to each of these Games will be significant. IOMCGA will be facing one its biggest fundraising challenges in the next few years.”
You can find out more about how to support Team Isle of Man by going to www.cga.im where you can also make donations to support our national team.
Photo: Team Isle of Man competitors and support staff pictured at the Sea Terminal after returning from the Commonwealth Games.