Jeux des Iles team to grow?

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Boosted by consistent results in all sports, with three bronze and one silver medal in the pool not to mention the moral support of the rugby 7s team finishing second in a demonstration sport, Jersey certainly earned their highest ever finish.

It was the Canary Islands who took the overall win from Sicily and Sardinia while Jersey were just one place behind the home side Corsica with the Azores picking up the Fair Play award on the stage below a huge statue of Napoleon.

Deservedly, it was three times swimming medallist Kerrie Smith and rugby’s Aaron Young, voted Jersey’s player of the sevens tournament, that accompanied chef d’expedition sportive Hugh Raymond on to that stage to collect Jersey’s trophy for tenth place from COJI representatives including President Pierre Santoni.

Moving up from 13th in the table last year is a great sign of Jersey’s progression, particularly as the Island take a younger team due to exam commitments.

However, with next years’ Games curtain rising in Guadeloupe there is talk of the event being moved back a week and although unconfirmed, if this is the case it could boost Jersey’s participation numbers greatly.

A list of sports that Guadeloupe are considering for their programme has also been announced and includes the ten core sports of swimming, athletics, table tennis, sailing, handball, judo, basketball, tennis, gymnastics and volleyball.

Along with these are the suggestion of archery, cycling, fencing, canoeing and surfing although a final decision about their inclusion will not be made until the next meeting of COJI in October.

The Guadeloupe rugby association are also expected to push hard for sevens’ inclusion as a demonstration sport once again.

‘We will look at the five other sports when we return, with regards to how possible it is to take other teams,’ explained Raymond.

‘We will only get a final list in October and so there are a lot of discussions to be made before we make any decisions.’ Assistant director of ESC Derek de la Haye agreed that a lot of planning is required and said: ‘What we need to do is sit down and talk with these sports who may be in the next Games but clearly it will be an interesting opportunity to go out there and experience a different culture.’ The disappointing news is that despite sending a team for this year’s demonstration of rugby sevens, Guadeloupe have not announced it in their provisional programme.

However Jersey’s rugby coach Mark White explained that the Guadeloupe team are going to push for its inclusion when they return home.

‘They enjoyed the tournament so much they made a petition,’ explained White.

‘Every one of the teams at the rugby signed it to say they would come back next year if it was included because this year has gone so well.’

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