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Shetlanders to dance at Delhi games

THREE enthusiastic Shetlanders will be able to travel to India later this year as part of a delegation to represent Scotland at the flag handover ceremony at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Shetland Islands Council is now calling on islanders who would like to be considered to come forward no later than 12 April.

Organisers of the Glasgow 2014 games will fund three representatives from every Scottish local authority to take part in a choreographed dance routine at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium that could be watch by as many as one billion people.

Earlier this year, Shetland Islands Council and other local authorities refused to pay £13,000 each to fund the initiative.

Since then, Glasgow 2014 had a rethink and has offered to pay for three people from each of the 32 council areas from its own community engagement fund.

The council sport and leisure service manager Neil Watt said travelling to Delhi to represent Scotland was the “chance of a lifetime”.

But he added that anybody who would like to be considered needed to be aware of the considerable time commitment required.

“The handover ceremony will mark the start of an amazing journey for athletes, citizens and communities of Scotland and the Commonwealth towards the biggest sporting event Scotland has hosted.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime to join a cast of hundreds to train and perform in what will be a truly exciting and historic event watched by one billion people around the world.

“The performance will involve a mass choreographed dance routine with a cast of hundreds from all across Scotland and from all walks of life.

“It will draw on traditional symbols of Scottish identity in a way that is both modern and inclusive of Scotland’s diverse society, and will communicate the spirit of our Commonwealth Games to an international audience,” he said.

The criteria for participation are as follows;

  • A good basic level of physical fitness, self-motivated and enthusiastic;
  • Ability to commit to the following rehearsal schedule in Glasgow: 10 and 11 June 2010 and 20 September to 8 October 2010;
  • Ability to commit to the performance schedule in Delhi: 12 to 17 October 2010;
  • 18 years or over on 10 June 2010;
  • No medical conditions preventing exercise, physical exertion, air travel, travel vaccinations and periods in hot environments;
  • Consent to all advice and necessary requirements as dictated by the project doctor e.g. travel vaccinations and medical and emergency attention in Delhi;
  • Full UK or other passport allowing travel to India and valid for at least 6 months beyond 16 October 2010;
  • Consent to any necessary security and background checks;
  • And, most importantly, pride, passion, dedication and a willingness to learn.

Mr Watt added: “In order to take up this opportunity, individuals will have to be prepared to give up a significant amount of time and be prepared to travel to Glasgow and ultimately Delhi during 2010.

“They will have the following costs met for them i.e. food/accommodation in Glasgow and travel to Delhi and food/accommodation in Delhi, but will have to meet their own travel costs to Glasgow.”

Letters of nomination for this project need to be sent to the council’s sport and leisure service, Hayfield House, Lerwick, by 12 April 2010.

Thereafter the nominees will have to attend a short interview sometime during the week commencing 19 April 2010 with the final list of Shetland’s members known by 23 April.