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Extra Government Support for Rhodes Team 23 May 2007

The Government, through the Department of Tourism and Leisure, has agreed to provide an additional grant of £25,000 to assist the Isle of Man team for the NatWest Island Games in Rhodes this July.

As had been widely reported earlier this month the team had faced a crisis when the last minute collapse of a charter deal left the Island Games Association of Mann (IGAM) with a funding gap of over £30,000. Despite a successful fundraising campaign IGAM was facing the prospect of having to impose a substantial surcharge on team members.

Minister for Tourism and Leisure, the Hon Adrian Earnshaw, MHK explained:

‘We recognised the very real problems that would be faced by our competitors, many of whom are young people, through a situation which was, in no way, of their making. We have therefore agreed to provide an additional £25,000, which will enable the cost to each member to be maintained at its original level.’

The Minister added:

‘The Government and the Manx people are rightly very proud of the achievements of our athletes, young and not so young, and I am sure that we can look forward to their success at the Rhodes Games.’

This exceptional additional award brings the total support to the team from Government, both directly and through the Sports Council, to almost £80,000 and Paul Craine, Chairman of IGAM added: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Manx Government and in particular Minister Earnshaw for that tremendous support. After all of the problems of the last few weeks we can now look forward to the Rhodes Games with real confidence and with our financial worries behind us.’

As part of the discussions the Department and the Sports Council have agreed to work closely with IGAM to ensure that the risk of similar problems at future Games is minimised.

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