The 17-year-old received the award, given after every Island Games for outstanding sportsmanship in memory of the JEP’s former chief sports reporter, from the paper’s deputy editor Rob Shipley.That Katherine ever made it to Jersey’s swimming team for Guernsey takes some believing, given the extent of the back and leg injuries she incurred in a road accident just after her 16th birthday last year.
But the former Wales age group international is obviously made of stern stuff: ‘I made the Games my target for this year.
I’d missed out on qualifying for Gotland in 1999, so I was determined not to miss it this time,’ she said.That she qualified for Guernsey astonished the team’s coaching staff, let alone reaching a final and returning with silver and gold relay medals.
Island and Tigers SC coach Matt Magee said: ‘What an achievement.
She was barely able to walk before she was back in the pool training.
‘Katherine’s been unable to train as much as she would have liked, so is some way off her best.
So to do what she has done is remarkable.’Katherine, who is scheduled for an operation to remove pins from her leg this week, was chosen ahead of four other worthy nominees.
They were: Cyclist David Jardine for his all round excellence and in particular a stunning performance in a classic road race; knocked off his machine through no fault of his own on the penultimate lap, he ignored injury and the loss of at least 30 seconds to battle back and help Jersey to a superb team silver by finishing as the second counter.Jersey pistol stalwart Bob Blake who once again displayed the spirit of the Games by helping out as a range officer for eight hours a day and still returning with a gold, two silvers and a bronze.The men’s football team received a nomination for their commitment and behaviour during the tournament and its build-up.
They, like their female counterparts, returned with a bronze medal.Triathlete Beccy Roberts unluckily finished out of the honours; suffering a puncture when well placed for individual and team honours she restarted, but then hit a patch of oil and came off her bike sustaining painful injuries.
Despite the disappointment and pain she carried on as a true competitor.Bill ‘Corinthian’ Custard would undoubtedly have approved of them all.Senator Mike Vibert, president of the vin d’honneur hosts – Education, Sport and Culture – again reaffirmed States support for the Island Games.Derek Bernard, who will step down as the chairman of the Island Games Association of Jersey next year, called for the sports to snap into action earlier than in the past in order to prepare for Shetland in 2005.
He also reiterated his call for Islanders not to judge 2007 host island Rhodes purely on the behaviour of some of their football team in Guernsey.The IGAJ presented an award to ESC’s Vic Bourgoise, who retires from his position this week, for all his help to their association over the years.