Austin: Don't forget the 'power of sport'
- Jersey 2015 chairman highlights need for continued backing for sport from States at post-Games celebration.
- Phil Austin says the Games 'showed exactly what sport is capable of' at Fort Regent.
STATES members have been urged not to forget the importance of sport when they consider funding cuts later this year.
Speaking at a vin d'honneur held at Fort Regent last night to mark the contribution of Islanders towards a successful NatWest Island Games, Jersey 2015 organising committee chairman Phil Austin highlighted what he describes as 'the power of sport'.
His comments reportedly drew rapturous applause from the hundreds in attendance at Gloucester Hall, which included a good number of Waitrose Games Makers.
Speaking this morning, Austin said: 'At the end of my speech, I highlighted the fact that we have seen how successful the Games can be and how successful the Island can be when we all get together and work towards the same objective.
'For me, the Games really did highlight the power of sport and showed exactly what sport is capable of. There were a number of States members there and I know many of them already recognise the power of sport.
'I understand that they will be facing some very difficult and delicate negotiations but I called upon them to remember the part sport can play when they are making those decisions.
'I think the Games has come as a timely reminder to that. There was a fantastic buzz around the Island and so my message is: please don't forget just how powerful and important sport can be.'
He added: 'We would all love more funding for sport but when you consider that it is battling with the likes of Health and Education, it is always going to be difficult. Sometimes it appears that sport is an easy area to force cuts but I just hope they think long and hard.
'I don't know the full picture so I can't comment precisely but I feel we needed to put a marker down as to what sport can do.'
On the importance of yesterday's reception, Austin commented: 'It was just a thank you from the organising committee because without the hard work of all the people in the room it simply would not have been such a success. We invited as many as possible for one final celebration of Jersey 2015.'
Chief Minister Ian Gorst also spoke at the reception.
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