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Sun, 03 Jul 2011

The NatWest Island Games XIV in the Isle of Wight has come to an end.  Six days of intense competition have finished.  We are all going home.  Well over 3,000 participants gathered on Friday in the Yacht Haven in Cowes to celebrate the final day of this year's Games.  Now we all start looking towards Bermuda.

I hope you have enjoyed the NatWest Island Games and look forward to seeing you again in two years time.

This is the last speech from a great week:

Thank you!! 

Thank you Isle of Wight.  Thank you Isle of Wight Council, without your support this would not have happened. Thank you Isle of Wight IGA, organisers of the 14th NatWest Island Games.  We who have had the privilege to be part of it are proud and humble to stand here tonight after a week of competition and friendship. We have laughed and we have cried. We have grown as individuals.  We understand a little bit more of the world now than we did a week ago. We realise that although we do not always agree, we still respect each other.

To the people of the Isle of Wight. We came to you island and you took care of us. You showed us yor love and your hospitality. You made us feel welcome.

To all of you role models standing here tonight. You have inspired us all and many others in your efforts to perform. Some of you carry medals with great pride. Congratulations to you all! Some of you did not win this time but look forward to the NatWest Island Games in Bermuda in only two years time. You are not giving up.  You have learned and decided to try harder.  You will start immediately you arrive home. You will train when your body tells you not to; you will run when your legs want to stop and you will come back in two years time, better than ever!

You all came to the Isle of Wight as competitors and islanders. During the passed week you have grown beyond that. You have grown as human beings and you have grown as islanders. Today you are more than when you arrived. Today you are all friends! Let the week of sport in the Isle of Wight become a stepping stone to the next level. Let the friendships you have started flourish. Let the love and care from your hosts follow you home. Because I pomise you one thing:

You may leave the Isle of Wight tomorrow. But rest assured, the Isle of Wight will never leave you!

On behalf of everyone present - Thank you Isle of Wight.  See you again!

"In the name of the International Island Games Association, I declare the NatWest Island Games XIV in the Isle of Wight closed, and I call upon the sportmens and sportwomen of the Member Island Associations to assemble in two years time in Bermuda, there to celebrate the NatWest Island Games XV so that the spirit of true sportsmenship may be continued with courage and honour to all who participate."

Jorgen Pettersson

IIGA Chairman