Utmost Worldwide’s support of the Guernsey Island Games Association (GIGA) continues with two more sports, basketball and table tennis, benefitting from the firm’s bursary scheme.
Since 2018, bursaries have been awarded on a rotational basis, meaning each of the 18 teams will benefit from receiving the funding twice during Utmost Worldwide’s 10-year sponsorship.
This year’s Gibraltar Island Games will host 14 sports, including basketball and table tennis, with the Guernsey teams heading there in July.
The Guernsey basketball team has used their bursary money to bring over professional referees from the UK for the Inter-Insular weekend. During their three-day visit, they provided valuable insight and spent some time coaching the local referees.
Patrick Ogier, President of the Guernsey basketball team, says: “We are all very grateful to Utmost for giving us the bursary this year.
“It was perfect timing as we were able to bring over some referees who are the best in their field to prepare us for the games in a couple of months’ time. The team is in great form, having just won the Inter-Insulars under the watchful eye of the UK referees.”
Guernsey table tennis will be joining the roster at the Gibraltar Island Games for the sixteenth time since the games began.
The team is planning to use their bursary to fly over a coach to run two training camps for the potential 2021 Island Games’ players, which will be hosted in Guernsey. It is also hoped that while the coach is here they will be able to do a camp for the up and coming junior players.
Derek Webb, Guernsey Table Tennis Association (GTTA) President, comments: “It’s fantastic to receive these funds and the players are all incredibly thankful; we’re keen to ensure that it’s used to benefit all of our players.
“The plan is to bring a coach over to run two sessions for our potential 2021 team and if there is enough time, they will also spend some time with our younger players.”
Throughout the years, each of the sports has used their bursary funding in numerous ways, from purchasing new kit and equipment, to taking their teams away for competitions. This scheme is vital in helping these sports thrive and securing their future.
Utmost Worldwide is committed to sponsoring GIGA until 2021, when Guernsey will host the XIX Natwest Island Games.
Giorgia Daboni, Chief Executive Officer, Utmost Worldwide in Guernsey, states: ‘We are always delighted to see how our sponsorship benefits local athletes and promotes sport across the island.
‘Sport is a big part of the island’s community so it is a pleasure to be able to help foster that within these 19 sports. It leaves a genuine legacy, with many of the teams using the money to benefit their juniors as well as their potential island games team members.’
Brian Allen, Chairman of the Guernsey Island Games, concludes: ‘It’s fantastic that the bursaries are now being awarded on a rotational basis so that they’ll all benefit twice, regardless of whether their sport is in that year’s upcoming games or not.
‘As always, we must say a massive ‘thank you’ to Utmost Worldwide as their sponsorship not only helps get the teams to the Games but also provides the sports with invaluable knowledge and memories while nurturing sport in the island.’
The Gibraltar Island Games will see 14 sports compete in under 50 days starting on 6th July.