Five Island Games sports clubs have been awarded bursaries as part of Generali Worldwide’s ongoing sponsorship of the Guernsey Island Games Association.
Bowls, squash and racketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton will each receive bursaries of £1,000.
Whilst there are 13 months to go before the team travels to Gotland in 2017, the clubs are always working tirelessly to develop their sports in the island. The bursary scheme was conceived to help fund key developmental activities such as travel to off-island competitions, new equipment or simply to attract new people to the sports. The Island Games is so much more than seven days of competition. The Games are a source of inspiration for anyone, whatever their level of sporting prowess. They play an important role in helping to sustain and grow sport participation, as well as being a source of great island pride.
“It’s very pleasing to see the bursaries being used to help sport to thrive in Guernsey – from engaging young people to helping the high-performance sportsmen reach new levels,” says Giorgio Daboni, Chief Executive Officer of Generali Worldwide in Guernsey.
Each of the sports clubs are asked to determine the best use for their bursary funds, spending it in a variety of ways according to their individual needs.
The Guernsey Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA) will be focusing on youth development in primary and secondary schools. The funds will help launch a new school’s programme of taster sessions and lunchtime match play, as well as building vital links between the GLTA and schools. “We must keep an eye on the future of our sport and it’s so important that we get funding, like this bursary, to ensure that tennis continues to grow and we can engage more young people in our sport,” says Rick Denton, Chairman of the Guernsey Lawn Tennis Association.
The Guernsey Squash and Racketball Association will be spreading their funds between investing in an experienced coach to visit from the UK and travel expenses for competitions off island, as well as new goggles and rackets for juniors. “We want to ensure that our experienced players benefit, as well as encouraging more young people into the sport,” says Darron Turvey, Chairman of the Guernsey Squash and Racketball Association.
Volleyball also requires funds to help senior players travel off island for competitions, whilst Badminton will invest in a Commonwealth Games medal winner who will visit Guernsey and coach the Island Games squad and junior players.
Guernsey’s bowls players have an impressive pedigree in international competitions and they have an ambitious four-year programme in place that includes hosting international events in Guernsey and employing a full-time development officer.
The Generali Worldwide bursary will contribute to their coffers to carry out their ambitious plans.
Going forward, there are plans to rotate the bursaries across all Island Games Association member clubs to ensure that all sports have access to funding over the next four years.
“The bursaries continue to be very well received by the Island Games Association member sports,’ says Brian Allen, Chairman of GIGA. “Guernsey’s sporting community is quite incredible given our size, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We want to compete at the highest level and also continue to attract new people into all the sports. Generali Worldwide has given £25,000 in bursaries to local sport since 2012 - their support is invaluable.”