Athletes and coaches from the Western Isles islands Games Association were feted at a major public event at Harris & Lewis Smokehouse in Stornoway this morning (Tuesday March 19th)
The event was organised by the Scottish Salmon Company which owns the smokehouse and is a major sponsor of WIIGA.
Opening the event Gerry Corish, who is Marketing Director of SSC and general manager at the Smokehouse, said the event was a “breakfast for champions.” He congratulated the chosen athletes for their success – and thanked the staff who had worked on event, including Phil Sim, the Head Chef, and Gary Maclean, award-winning chef, Scotland’s national chef, and food ambassador for Scottish Salmon, for preparing a great spread and for Gary’s overall support.
He also thanked George Lavery of the Scalpay Bistro for a ‘fabulous’ special meal the previous evening which was made available to the visiting team from Scottish Salmon and others involved in a major promotional push by the company.
Councillor Norrie 'Tomsh' MacDonald – who chairs WIIGA – said the event enabled them to celebrate their growing links to the Scottish Salmon Company – without such support, the athletes would never have a chance to manage the costs of the travel involved with their sports. Such support “does help us bring our athletes to the highest standards possible.”
And general team manager Iain GG Campbell thanked Scottish Salmon for all their support over the past three games.
The 2019 event will see the team of approximately 40 athletes travel to Gibraltar where they will spend a week (6 – 12 July) competing in sports including badminton, cycling, shooting, swimming and athletics.
In 2017 the WIIGA squad of over 70 athletes took home from Gotland a record haul of 10 Gold medals; 2 Silver medals; and 1 Bronze medal, a feat which they will be hoping to match this year.
Iain said of the team members: ”You guys are stars for the Islands.” He pointed out that other competitors at the Island Games had competed in the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games, so the local athletes were getting a chance to compete with some great, some professional athletes.
He also thanked a range of other sponsors including Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, sportscotland, and many others.
Gary Maclean said he travels the whole world promoting Scottish food and the food from the Islands was incredible – and he loved meeting the people who actually make the food.