Bradley Burnett, eight, and Camdyn McShane, nine, defend for Western Isles in basketball, with Ben Gardner, nine, attacking for St Helena in the centre. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
PRIMARY SCHOOL GAMES
DISCOVERING the strength of team spirit as well as learning new activities were the legacies of this year’s Primary School Island Games, held at Medina Leisure Centre on Saturday.
After four hours of competition and fair play, children from primary schools Island-wide were rewarded with medals and certificates — as well as the chance to see the Olympic Torch Relay at the end to cap a fantastic day of sport.
Primary schools across the IW were divided into six island groups and took part in seven different sports.
In previous years, athletics has been the main draw but this year, with the event moved to Medina, there was the opportunity to hold swimming.
Other new sports for this year were quick sticks hockey and handball, while the regular favourites athletics, basketball, netball and kwik cricket also featured.
The day was won by Ryde area schools for the second year in a row, representing St Helena. Ventnor schools, representing Greenland, came second with Cowes schools (Menorca) in third.
The other three islands were Cayman Islands (The Bay), Western Isles (Brighstone and Carisbrooke), and Bermuda (Newport).
Jon Milton, organiser of the quick sticks hockey tournament and manager of the winning Greenland team, was assisted on the day by members of the IW Hockey Club, and was delighted with the way the day progressed.
"The quick sticks game is simplified with no goalkeepers, and is great to introduce youngsters to the game. There is a lot of talent on display today, and we are certainly hoping a few join the IW Hockey Club’s junior section training in September."
St Helena were second, with Bermuda third.
In the netball, there was victory for St Helena in the six-team tournament but special congratulations also went to the Western Isles. They were represented by children from Summerfields Primary, who stepped in at the 11th hour after another school withdrew. With just one hour of training from Ann Selby, tournament organiser, they did very well and finished fourth overall.
Ann said: "I am thrilled with the way things have gone, the schools are planning mini-leagues now which is great."
Youngsters really enjoyed learning all about handball, which is being introduced this year on the IW generally.
Andy Day is leading the promotion of the sport, and held a round-robin tournament which was won by Menorca.
In the swimming pool, swimmers of varying ability had the chance to compete over one length, or 25m, and again Menorca were triumphant, while in the basketball, St Helena won after two groups played out a round-robin, before the knock-out stages.
The poor weather meant the athletics was moved inside for a sportshall tournament, and again St Helena won. They also took the kwik cricket crown for a near clean-sweep.
• More pictures in the Friday, July 20, County Press.