Pupils from primary schools in the Ryde area are celebrating after they stormed to victory as the Island of ‘St Helena’ at the third annual Primary School Island Games.
Organised by Isle of Wight Council’s sports unit, over 400 children took part in the games held on 26 June which saw schools represent different international islands just a year before the NatWest International Island Games are hosted here in 2011.
The islands that were represented during the games included Cayman Islands, St Helena, Rhodes, Greenland, Menorca, Gibraltar, Western Isles and Bermuda. Each Island was represented by seven clusters of primary schools. These were Ryde, Sandown, Ventnor, Cowes (inc East Cowes), Newport, Carisbrooke and the West Wight.
This year’s games also welcomed the full International Island Games Executive Committee and guests from all other 24 member islands who watched the opening ceremony and the competitions.
The opening ceremony was led by the Unidos Samba Band, followed by over 80 volunteers and the recently successful Isle of Wight World Island Youth Games team. Following the arrival of the teams, Mass Fusion performed a carnival dance act before the International Island Games Association Chairman Jorgen Pettersson officially opened the games.
Following the opening ceremony, around 1000 spectators watched a full day of tennis, girls football, athletics, tag rugby, netball, cycling and basketball.
Every primary school was involved in the games, with several of the cluster areas holding trials and regular practice sessions over the past three months in preparation for the event.
St Helena triumphed overall after achieving the most success, winning an impressive six out of the seven sports, followed by Cayman Islands (Sandown area) in second place and Greenland (Ventnor area) in third.
The official mascot for the 2011 Isle of Wight NatWest International Island Games – a giant red squirrel whose name will be chosen by children over the coming months – was also involved during the day, cheering the children on and posing for photos