The Nat West 2017 Island Games in Gotland comes to an end this weekend after yet another succsesful games for the athletics team. With an impressive medal haul of 6 medals (1 gold 2 silvers and 3 bronze) the Ynys Mon Island Games Athletics team achieved its target of 5 medals despite not having several key international athletes competing in Gotland.
Barry John Edwards the Athletics Co-ordinator said "the Ynys Mon athletes competing in Gotland have done a fantastic job and have achieved 6 medals, 10pb's, 14 seasons bests and 3 new Anglesey records. This is the result of hard work, commitment and hunger to succeed where athletes have been training 4-5 times per week and preparing for the last two years, its no secret that you get out what you put in on the track!". With the athletics team growing from strength to strength and the number of athletes representing Ynys Mon increasing games by games, the forecast for Gibralter 2019 is a lot of medals and potentially a team as large as 30 athletes.
In 2019 the athletics team will welcome back past medalist such as Iolo Hughes, Mikaela Harrison, as well as new athletes such as GB international Cari Hughes and several other top athletes from Ynys Mon who will step on to the international stage. Barry Edwards also commented "we have some real talent on Ynys Mon and this needs to be showcased to the rest of the world. We have male and female athletes based in various running clubs across North Wales and 2017-2019 will see a strong recruiting process to ensure we have the best possible 5000m, 10000m, and half marathon teams that will challenge for even more medals. For an island with no athletics facilities the track of champions for the Ynys Mon athletes is based at Treborth Athletics track. To ensure the success of athletics on Ynys Mon it is essential that the 2025 bid is secured for the benefits of our children who are the future champions. The key targets in inspiring people to achieve as well as getting every child hooked on sport for life is essential as the bid for the 2025 develops.
The Ynys Mon Island Games association is already working in partnership with Bangor University to ensure physiological testing, sports psychology, sports nutrition and various other health and wellbeing benefits. This new partnership will be a huge boost and the first of its kind with direct partnership with the Bangor University Sports Science department. An even stronger partnership with the University will hopefully be a gateway to potentially staging the 2025 athletics at Treborth which boasts an 8 lane track with world famous views over the Menai straights. Developing Treborth and networking between the University and Welsh Athletics would be a huge boost for Athletics in North West Wales and would inspire the next generation of athletes. The Ynys Mon Athletics Association have recommended and suggested that Treborth Athletics Track should be the hosting facility for the athletics if the 2025 bid is to be succesful. With the track being only 30 minutes drive from Holyhead and Amlwch, developing an international facility at Treborth in potential partnership with Bangor University would be a huge boost for all islanders, athletes, coaches and officials. This would significantly benefit health and well being factors as well as improve opportunities and allow athletes to develop further in their running jumping or throwing events.
Special dispensation was given to host the athletics at Treborth as part of the 2009 bid therfore there are no reasons why 2025 will be any different. This exciting opportunity would be a huge boost for the athletics community across North West Wales including schools events, Urdd events, Menai T&F events, University Athletics events and many more groups and charity events. Developing Treborth Athletics track into an international standard facility would allow major events and competitions to take place in North West Wales which can only be a good thing for leisure, tourism and raising the profile of the island games and athletics across Wales, Britain and the rest of the world.
Special thanks to the team sponsors who made it possible for Ynys Mon athletes to succeed - Hogans, Stena Line, Watking Jones, Always Aim High events and Start Fitness.
Medal winners and distances were
1. Iwan Parry - silver - High Jump - 1.98
2. Ameila Jennings - gold - High Jump 1.70
3. Gethin Hughes - bronze - 110mH - 16.53
4. Brea Leaung - bronze - Discus - 33.21
5. Connor Laverty - bronze - shot - 12.59
6. Connor Laverty - silver - Discus - 45.17