Awards night should still be staged

THE Sports Commission has had a good year despite recently losing its biggest political ally in Matt Fallaize.

Ala Chalmers, Guernsey's top sportsman of 2020, deserves his recognition.
 (Picture by Martin Gray, 28829794)
Ala Chalmers, Guernsey's top sportsman of 2020, deserves his recognition. (Picture by Martin Gray, 28829794)

But, as the year heads into the final straight, the commission has a fairly important decision to make.

Simply, does it allow the pandemic-hit year to interfere with staging its big annual celebration, showcase event and awards night?

Inside Track understands a decision will be made soon enough, but if they want encouragement to plough ahead in a fairly normal sort of fashion, it will come in the next few paragraphs.

Go for it, we say.

Our sporting year may have taken dents – Guernsey FC and Raiders in particular – and individuals of all talent ranges have seen their plans wrecked. But even without inter-insulars, the island sports scene has overcome hurdles and delays to keep a very passable show on the road, to the extent that there have been sufficient outstanding performances to stage an annual awards night.

The range of choices is going to be limited and, with some awards, so much so that it will be very difficult to justify a presentation, but we have still seen plenty of quality and we have two months-plus of 2020 yet to complete.

For a start, it would be wrong not to recognise the British 400m hurdles title of Alastair Chalmers.

That he will have no serious rival for the main award of the year is no reason not to award it. Just makes the decision straightforward.

And regardless of interruptions and delays, there have been many, many success stories amid the almost entirely domestic scenes.

There was the breakthrough golfing year of first-time island champion Tom Le Huray, the exciting potential of Ollie Chedhomme.

Aside of Ala Chalmers, Chris Bain and Abby Galpin were standouts on the track, Laura Le Cras and Charlie-Joe Hallett in the pool, James Roe on unmotorised two wheels.

Martyn Desperques has again excelled on the green baize, Lawrence Stacey on the table tennis tables and Nick Saunders shone on the hill climbs.

We saw some outstanding sea rowing and all along the way there has been enterprise and initiative shown by a long line of sports administrators who were determined to get some sort of show on the road.

There has been much to be proud of and therefore celebrate.

THEY sit plum bottom of the FNB Priaulx League and shipped another eight goals at Northfield last weekend, but I beg both followers and non-regulars at domestic football not to consider Rangers’ senior football team a disaster.

In fact, there is substantial emerging talent coming out of St Andrew’s and for 45 minutes against North there was the pleasing sight of kids such as Owen Setters and Sam Heathcote proving a match for North’s seasoned midfield amid some eye-catching displays in other positions, notably converted right-back Brad Foss and the young centre-half Ben Solway.

The problem is that there are just too many juniors, insufficient nous among the hard yards they put in for the cause.

Rangers are just three good senior players from winning games – a commanding goalkeeper, a wily, physical central midfielder and a striker where, unfortunately, Dale Garland is not always available through work.

It’s a shame that the island’s oldest club are so near but so far to some sort of success, but there again Vale Rec and Alderney could justifiably say the same thing, only they are not so reliant on youth.

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