Gymnasts and table tennis players could be included in 2006 Jeux des Iles team

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The Island attended last year’s event in Gran Canaria in an unofficial capacity, but four sports were competing for medals this year; athletics, tennis, sailing and swimming.

And next year’s Games could include both table tennis and gymnastics teams, according to assistant director for Education, Sport and Culture Derek de la Haye.

Swimmer Jacy Brown won Jersey’s first ever medal, claiming bronze in the 50m freestyle before athlete Jamie Stevenson took silver in the discus, while Becky Slater picked up bronze in the javelin.

But many more have achieved personal bests’ and have benefitted from the cultural experience of the Games that includes island’s from the Mediterranean, Carib- bean, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

And the tennis and sailing teams have performed admirably against strong opposition, with James Connelly finishing fourth overall in the tennis and the boys and girls teams finishing sixth.

Three of the four sailors finished in the top 20 with Lydia Carter finishing just outside.

Said Derek de la Haye: ‘We’ve had an excellent Games.

Partly because we’ve done really well, and the medals are a bonus, but also because of the way we’ve conducted ourselves – everyone has been first class.

‘It’s benefitted the Island because we’ve raised our profile among the other islands and next year we could have other sports such as table tennis and gymnastics teams attending – but that’s up to the sports.’ Athletics coach Andrew Winnie added that the experience had been fantastic for the youngsters – both in sporting terms and in terms of personal development.

‘It has been invaluable,’ he said.

‘It has allowed the competitors to develop, both as athletes and also in terms of broadening their cultural horizons.

Competing against such a high standard of opposition brings them on and they were competing in an Olympic arena because the stadium was used to host some of the football in Athens 2004.

‘It’s been super.

So many have achieved personal bests.

They’re all buzzing and are already talking about next year.’ Swimming coach Keiron Bowbrick said: ‘Personally I’ve learnt a huge amount from being here and the swimmers have achieved personal bests in virtually every event which is the main aim.’ Jersey Tennis Development Officer Hugh Raymond said his team had been competing with people who were of the same standard as the top junior English players and praised the achievement of his teams.

Sailing coach David Carter said the experience had been fantastic – both from a sporting point of view and also as a cultural exchange and he paid tribute to the efforts of his team.

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