Talet till Jersey

Årets öspel är i gång! I går kväll arrangerades en föredömligt kort och tydlig invigning av årets NatWest Island Games på Jersey. Hur många som kom till Howard Davis Park i centrala St Helier på Jersey har jag ingen aning om. Siffran 6.000 åskådare nämndes av många. Det blev en sprakande uppvisning i öar och idrottare. Själv hade jag förmånen att säga några ord och bjuda in Jerseys Bailiff William Bailhace att i formellt avseende öppna spelen.

Några länkar där man kan läsa mer om den otroliga idrottsfesten i Howard Davis Park:
Jersey Evening Post.
NatWest Island Games.
BBC Jersey.

Så här lät mina ord:

Your Excellency, Mr Bailiff, Distinguished Guests – dear islanders and friends,

It is wonderful to see you all tonight! Many of you have struggled very hard in order to make it here and neither winterstorms nor catering trucks at airports could stop you. I am not surprised. Your are islanders and you can’t be stopped. You made it because you are strong enough!

30 years from now – in the year of 1985 – we walked into Douglas, Isle of Man for the first Games between islands. Like you all have done today in Jersey. We were young and nervous and we carried our islandflags with pride. We sang songs together and tried to look cool although we were all very nervous. It was the first time our islands met in international competition and little did we then understand what to expect. We were 700 competitors from 15 islands. Today you are almost 3.000 from 24 different islands. When we left Isle of Man in 1985 it was with a deeper and better understanding of other cultures, languages and friendship. Sport is a uniting factor. We arrived as islanders. We left as friends.

During that week of sport the International Island Games Association was formed with a clear and simple message: ”Bring Islands Together in Sport and Friendship”. And the work began and thats why we today celebrate the 16th Opening Ceremony in Howard Davis Park in Jersey.
Thanks to efforts from competitors, officials, governments, administrators, sponsors and so on we are able to state that the vision from 1985 has become reality. Thanks to the hard work from all of you we are facing the largest ever NatWest Island Games here in Jersey. We will see new records, performances beyond belief, excitement, joy, victories and defeats. The reason why I am convinced this will happen is all of you! You are here because you refused to stop. You have ignored lazy mornings and aching muscles and you have pushed yourself in order to improve. By doing that you encourage others to try as hard and thats how development take place.

The Organising Committee of NatWest Island Games in Jersey is a great example of dedicated work and the joy of togetherness. Phil Austin and his crew has worked hard and brought the whole of the society along. Our Games today is a huge challenge for any Host. Thank you Jersey, you have taken responsibility and you have contributed to take our Games to the next level!

Today the NatWest Island Games are bigger than ever and the results are better than before. We have developed sports and we have grown individually. We grow together and we must never forget that it is good to win medals but that is much greater to make friends.

Many of you might feel a little bit nervous inside. Don’t. We are all the same. We share the same interests, we face similar challenges, we fear a lot but we must never let fear become stronger than hope. You have arrived to Jersey as islanders and competitors. Lets make sure that you will leave as friends. Thank you Jersey for bringing islands together, thank you islanders for making it here to Jersey. Have a great week of sport!

I hereby, on behalf of the International Island Games Association, invite the Bailiff of Jersey, Mr William Bailhache to officially open the NatWest Island Games XVI in Jersey.
Nu kör vi vidare på riktigt mot en fantastisk vecka av sport!

Det fanns gott om folk denna magiska lördag. Siffran 6.000 personer nämndes av många.

I vimlet efteråt hittade jag dessa unga idrottare från Shetland.
Den här texten finns i ålänningarnas hotell och sammanfattar mycket väl vad allt handlar om.
Första mötet mellan öarnas lagledare och organisationen för NatWest Island Games på jersey.
Många är långa men finns ändå!
Jerry och Francis Whitsey kom för att dela i invigningen. Jerry utses till ny kassör för International Island Games Association på tisdag då det är årsmöte.
Massor med folk var det.
Så här såg det ut då jag höll mitt inledningstal.
Direkt från London kom taxichaffisen Jay Lillington tillsammans med sin mor Geraldine.


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