Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK has added his best wishes to the team representing the Isle of Man at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The Island has sent a 33-strong squad of athletes to the Gold Coast to compete alongside 70 other nations and territories.
The opening ceremony at the Carrara Stadium on Wednesday 4 April will launch 11 days of world-class sporting action featuring more than 6,000 competitors.
Mr Quayle said:
‘The Commonwealth Games is a tremendous celebration of sport and I know the Gold Coast will put on a memorable event for all the participants and spectators. As a Manxman it is always a great moment to see our flag being paraded during the opening ceremony. On behalf of the people of the Isle of Man, I’d like to say how proud we are of the team and to wish them all the best in the days ahead.’
The Commonwealth Games is the biggest international multi-sport event in which the Isle of Man competes as an independent nation. Our athletes represent Great Britain at the Olympics, as cyclist Peter Kennuagh did with such distinction at London 2012.
The Island has been taking part in the Commonwealth Games since 1958, when it was known as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
Cyclist Stuart Slack became the Isle of Man’s first medallist when he claimed bronze in the men’s 120-mile road race in Cardiff in 1958.
Overall, the Island has won a total of 11 Commonwealth Games medals – three gold, two silver and six bronze. The three gold medallists are Peter Buckley (cycling 1966), Nigel Kelly (shooting 1986) and Mark Cavendish (cycling 2006).
Mr Quayle said:
‘Our Commonwealth Games success shows that athletes from a small country such as the Isle of Man can shine on the international stage if they have the ability, the determination and the support of their local communities. As a nation, the Island works hard to create an environment that nurtures talent and encourages our young people to flourish. Our athletes have worked extremely hard to earn the right to compete in Australia and I’ll be cheering them on at sporting venues across the Gold Coast.’
The Chief Minister is attending the Commonwealth Games in Australia at his own expense.