Seven talented sports people have been selected for a programme to help them achieve their ambition of representing the Isle of Man at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The Glasgow 2014 Support Programme is run by the Isle of Man Sport Institute and allows competitors chosen by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association to receive expert advice and support. The support provided by the Sport Institute to the seven selected competitors will be funded by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association.
Those selected for the programme can access a range of services from Sport Institute experts including physiotherapy, sports nutrition advice, sports psychology, sports massage, and strength and conditioning training. However, selection for the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme does not guarantee that they will chosen to represent Team Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games as this will be depend upon competitors achieving qualifying standards and other performance criteria in the build-up to the Games. The seven competitors selected for the programme so far are:
• Charlotte Atkinson – Swimming: Charlotte is ranked UK number one in her age group for the 50metres, 100metres and 1500metres freestyle and 200m butterfly. She won two gold, two silver, and one bronze at the 2011 Island Games and is the current Isle of Man Under-21 Sportswoman of the Year. Competed in three events at the London 2012 Olympic Trials;
• Darren Bell – Cycling: Darren is the current Isle of Man road race champion and has won the Colin Nelson Mountain Time Trial three times. He has also performed well in stage races with a 6th place on GC in the Tour of Ulster and 6th in the Suir Valley 3 day in addition to win a number of Isle of Man road races and time trials;
• Rachel Glover – Rifle shooting;
• Jake Keeling – Double trap clay shooting: Jake has represented the Isle of Man in international events since 2001. Highlights include a gold medal in the New Zealand Championships (2010) and gold in the CSF Games 2011;
• Laura Kinley – Swimming: Laura won a bronze medal in the 100metres breaststroke at the 2012 British National Youth Championships and a qualified to race at the London 2012 Olympic Trials. She is ranked number one in the UK in her age group in the 50m breaststroke short course event;
• Neil Parsons – Olympic trap clay shooting;
• Lara Ward – Rifle shooting: Lara competed in the Manchester, Melbourne and Delhi Commonwealth Games, 50metres prone rifle. At the 2011 Island Games won two gold medals in the 50metres prone rifle and a bronze medal in the 10metres air rifle.
More competitors may be eligible for the programme in the countdown to Glasgow 2014 and all those on the scheme will benefit from excellent advice and support. Charlotte Atkinson is typical in her comments regarding the benefits of the programme when she says:
“I am excited to be part of the Commonwealth Games Support Programme and I would be very proud to represent the Island at the Games. All of the services provided at Sports Institute are excellent, and with the help of the Support Programme I hope that Team Isle of Man can achieve some great results.”
Juliet Holt, President of the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association, said:
“The Isle of Man Sport Institute has run Support Programmes for the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and also the 2008 and 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. It has proven to be a very successful initiative and I’m sure that all of the athletes selected this time will find the expertise offered by the Sport Institute a great help as they aim to win a place at the 2014 Games.”
The Isle of Man will be one of 71 nations competing in Glasgow between July 23 and August 3, 2014. The Games will see competition over 11 days in 17 sports. At the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi two years ago Team Isle of Man won two bronze medals – Mark Christian in the track cycling scratch race, and Tim Kneale in the double trap shooting event. Many Isle of Man athletes have used the Commonwealth Games as a stepping stone towards careers in professional sport and to compete at the Olympic Games. Mark Cavendish MBE, the cyclist who became World Road Race Champion in 2011, was a 21-year-old amateur when he won gold on the track at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association is responsible for the publicity, fundraising, travel and support for Team Isle of Man’s participation at the Commonwealth Games. It is a registered charity and relies upon fundraising events and donations to fund Team Isle of Man’s participation at the Commonwealth Games. Donations to support Team Isle of Man can be made at www.cga.im