Looking ahead to the Jersey 2015 Island Games, The Guernsey Island Games Association has announced the recipients of the 2014 Generali Worldwide sports bursaries. GIGA’s sponsor, Generali Worldwide provides financial support to Island Games sports on an annual basis and this year six sports will receive a bursary.
Triathlon, tennis, table tennis, golf, archery and badminton will all receive grants with funds going to help the development of the sport on the island. ‘The Island Games is a competitive highlight for many athletes. The Generali Worldwide bursary scheme was created to help the teams with their Games preparation but also to support the on-going health of that sport in Guernsey, which is one of GIGA’s objectives,’ says Brian Allen, GIGA Chairman.
The GIGA committee considers all applications carefully before making their final choices. This year the funds will be allocated as follows:
The Guernsey Triathlon Club will use funds to bring a specialist triathlon swim coach to Guernsey later this year to help with the team’s Games preparations. They also hope to use some of the funds to enable a development athlete attend an Island Games selection race in Jersey.
The Guernsey Tennis Club has identified that they need to invest in the coaching team to help improve their performance players and also develop the next generation of tennis leaders. They are planning to run a weekend course for Guernsey coaches and development trainers by bringing over LTA coaching experts.
The Guernsey Badminton Association will be maximising their recent recruitment of a badminton development officer by investing in new equipment. The new equipment will help the team introduce more people to the sport and provide players of all levels with the opportunity to improve and compete. This will help the Association’s long-term plan to ensure future generations of Island Games badminton players.
The Guernsey Table Tennis Association will also focus on the development of junior players by inviting the current European Table Tennis Union Eurokids Head Coach, Branka Batinic, to Guernsey. They plan to organise an intensive week-long training camp, which will primarily focus on up and coming junior players.
The Guernsey Golf Union will focus on youth development, particularly in secondary schools, as well as investing the funds in travel expenses for Island Games players to experience playing on different courses in the UK and Jersey.
The Bowmen of Guernsey, who held a very successful ‘Guernsey Games’ event last year, will use their bursary to continue to invest in training equipment such as bows, arrows and arm guards.
‘It is extremely satisfying to hear how the sports will use the grants,’ says Giorgio Daboni, Chief Executive Officer of Generali Worldwide in Guernsey. ‘We are looking forward to seeing the results of these plans, whether it’s hiring specialist coaches or helping our athletes travel away from Guernsey to gain vital experience. It is very pleasing to know that our bursaries will benefit sport here in the long term.’
The build up to the Jersey 2015 Island Games has already started, with plans for accommodation and travel being finalised. ‘We want to work closely with Brian and the GIGA committee to give our Guernsey athletes the best possible experience in 2015,’ says Mr Daboni.
The Island Games team sponsorship is part of Generali Worldwide’s commitment to sport in the community and the organisation also supports two other wellbeing initiatives in Guernsey – the Rising Stars programme and the Get Active Fortnight.