Island Games competitors told ‘play hard, be honest, laugh a lot and enjoy life’

NIKKI TREBERT cannot have envisaged such a challenge being the Team Guernsey flag bearer in Saturday’s Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games opening ceremony, but she passed the test with flying colours.

A howling strong wind whipped across the Europa Point Sports Complex, turning the honour of being a flag bearer into a test of strength and stamina. The Sarnian shooting star carried out her duty with typical good nature and efficiency, though, as did the Guernsey water carriers, Oriana Wheeler and Emma Sykes.

The show had kicked off – a purposefully chosen phrase considering the action occurred on a synthetic rugby pitch – with a display by the combined marching bands of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and the Royal Marines, before the parade of the 22 competing islands.

The traditional speeches followed, with organising committee chairwoman Linda Alvarez telling the competitors ‘you all will leave a lasting legacy for your islands’ while International Island Games Association chairman Jorgen Pettersson added ‘play hard, be honest, laugh a lot and enjoy life’.

Fabian Picardo, first minister of Gibraltar, then officially opened the Games, saying 'I cannot imagine a more spectacular place to hold this [ceremony] – where Europe meets Africa, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic'.

The show concluded with a performance by the Recycle Junkies, who use recycled materials as instruments, choreographed by local artist Nathan Conroy, who won a gold medal for judo at the 1993 Games.

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