Western Isles athletes in the running thanks to wind farm

COMMUNITY wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust have made it easier for a group of athletes to represent the Western Isles on the world stage this summer with a donation of £1,000.

Norrie 'Tomsh' MacDonald and Angus McCormack. Picture: Contributed

The donation was made to the Western Isles Island Games Assocation who are sending a squad to compete in the NatWest Island Games in Sweden in June.

Norrie “Tomsh” MacDonald, chair of the local games association, was delighted to receive the cheque recently from Point and Sandwick Trust chairman Angus McCormack.

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Norrie said: “We are grateful for every single donation we get and £1000 is a huge amount of money.

“It means it reduces the costs for all our athletes. That’s the long and the short of it.

“A lot of our athletes fall into the schoolkid category so reducing the costs to them is of paramount importance because it’s not cheap.”

Angus added: “Our charitable status precludes us from making payments to individual athletes, so the board decided the best way of supporting athletes attending the Island Games was to make this donation. We wish the athletes all the best for the competitions in June. We are all very proud of what they have managed to achieve on the international stage.”

The games take place every second year and go on rotation around the 24 island members of the International Island Games Association. This year’s host is Gotland in Sweden and a squad of 75 athletes and 15 others — coaches, managers and medics — are going from the Western Isles.

Norrie said: “While the sums involved are clear, what is harder to quantify is just how big an effect that participation in the Island Games has had on sports performance in the Western Isles. We’ve taken great strides in the last ten years. The standards of the island sports have increased massively.

“Instead of going to the mainland to participate, they are going to the mainland thinking they can win. Confident.

“They’re not scared now, especially at the North of Scotland events.

“Our whole premise is to make sure that every single person in the Western Isles has access to sports at the grassroots level.”