"Team Guernsey the envy of Åland" was the final headline in the Guernsey Press at the close of the 2009 Games. Denise Fawcett gave her feelings about the performance of Team Guernsey after another fantastically successful Island Games competition:
"THE Team Guernsey spirit is the envy of other islands", was the message from GIGA chairwoman Denise Fawcett as the Aland Games 2009 came to a close on Saturday. ‘We could not be a more supportive, up for it, crowd of young people,’ she said, they have been fantastic.
‘The support they show other sports is absolutely phenomenal. It is different to all the other islands, and I think many are envious of our camaraderie.’
Fawcett has been to all four corners of Aland in the last week, supporting Sarnians wherever and whenever they were competing and she admitted that it was difficult to pick a highlight.
‘Sometimes different things are more sentimental to me. For example, I watched Kay [Chivers] and Dawn [Morgan] in the women’s doubles table tennis final and it is lovely to still see them playing so well. I have watched them so many times yet I still enjoy watching them because they are so cool and professional.
‘Then you get something like the athletics [the 4x400m on Friday] and that was just amazing for everybody who saw it.’
The GIGA chairwoman also admitted that the medal count for Guernsey had exceeded her expectations.
‘At these Games we have had more success than many people thought we would and the medals table is also somewhat distorted, what with gymnastics having only four islands competing in it,’ Fawcett said.
‘That is why the medals table is not the whole story, but where we are is a terrific achievement.’
The ideal scenario for the GIGA when going to a Games is to have the whole of Team Guernsey using the same hotel.
That had not proved possible in Aland, but Fawcett said that hard work had overcome the problem.
‘We thought it was going to be difficult with the separation of the team, but each host island is different and, in fact, it has worked out really well, partly due to the fact that our preparations have helped in transporting people around to see as much as possible.
‘The Alanders have been absolutely great and my attaches have been second to none. If you want something, it is done – they have been brilliant.’
And to sign off, Fawcett believes the GIGA might have started a trend with their provision of ‘clappers’ which have been handed out to team members to use when supporting others.
‘They have been a huge success and I bet when we get to the Isle of Wight, it will have caught on with other islands.’
Lee Garland, a veteran of eight Games, was chosen to carry the island flag at the closing ceremony."
There were many outstanding performances during the course of the week's competition, and Team Guernsey ended the week in a very strong 4th place in the overall medal table with a haul of 60 medals - 21 Gold, 12 Silver and 27 Bronze.
Team Guernsey 2009
NatWest Island Games XIII - Åland 2009 will probably be the biggest Games ever, with 25 islands and up to 3700 participants according to preliminary indications.
GUERNSEY FINAL RESULTS
The official website of NatWest Island Games XIII - Åland 2009 can be found here: www.natwestislandgames2009.ax