WITH THE success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games still fresh in people’s minds, Shetland is adding another week of sporting excitement.
Shetland Sports Week is part of the build up to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and gives the islands an opportunity to demonstrate why they were given the accolade of European Community of Sport 2013.
More than 100 activities and sport sessions are being held in sports facilities right across Shetland between Saturday 29 September and Sunday 7 October, with something on offer for everyone.
A £10,000 government grant from Event Scotland is helping to create this week long celebration of the huge variety of sport on offer in Shetland, bringing new opportunities to get involved in sporting and dance activities as a participant, a volunteer, a coach or a spectator.
An impressive array of events have been organised to encourage islanders to try out different sports, most of which will be led by local sports clubs and volunteers.
There will be visits from a number of high profile sports coaches and athletes, not least rugby legend Chris Paterson MBE, who will provide an insight into his career between 9 and 10am on Saturday 6 October at the Shetland Museum and Archives.
Tickets for the ‘Breakfast with Chris’ event cost £5, with a bacon roll and a hot drink included in the price.
This will be followed by a free coaching session with Chris Paterson at the Clickimin rugby pitch between 10.15 and 11.30am. All school age children are welcome to turn up and take part.
During the opening weekend football freestyler Paul Klein will be showcasing the skills he has been honing since he was 14 years old, which have been on display in various TV commercials recently.
There will also be a fencing taster during the launch with a demonstration from Stephen Rocks. He is from Shetland and is currently ranked No 1 in Scotland for his weapon, sabre.
A photo exhibition of the past 100 years of Shetland sport goes on display at the Shetland Museum and Archives.
Dance graduate Jane McLaren is preparing a schools dance programme for the opening ceremony.
The newly opened Mareel will also screen a number of classic sport films.
Project leader and SIC active schools manager James Johnston said everyone involved was looking forward to the boost Shetland Sports Week would give to local sports clubs, both in terms of membership and levels of participation.
“Already we have had agreement from regional and national sports development staff and athletes in basketball, football, athletics, rugby, bowling and disability sport who wish to visit Shetland during the week and deliver activities, coaching workshops and inspire everyone to become more physically active and involved in sport,” he said.
This will be followed by a dance performance, a fast 5s netball demonstration from senior players, a taster session by Shetland Fencing Club and a ‘come and try’ session with visiting football freestyler Paul Klein.
The Glasgow 2014 mascot will also be at the opening ceremony to generate greater awareness of the Commonwealth Games.