International Island Games Report and Photographs
The 14th International Island Games became one of the most memorable and special weeks in the 106 year history of Ryde Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.
The club were proud to have been one of the leading Venues for the Games hosting the women's singles/doubles/team and mixed doubles events.
The NatWest Island Games ran from June 25th -1st July and it had been eighteen years since the Isle of Wight last had the honour of hosting the Games.
Over that period of time, there had been immense changes in the number of Islands competing, the number of participating athletes and officials, in media interest, and in standards of performance and expectations. The club had never looked so impressive following the refurbishment of the Clubhouse and the manicuring of the grounds. Many acolades were received from competitiors and visitors about the club and quality of the courts.
With around 3000 athletes from 25 member islands competing in 14 sports during the course of one week, the Isle of Wight NatWest Island Games 2011 was the largest games to date. and the largest international multi-sport event ever held on the Island. 12 diffferent islands competed in the tennis at RLTCC.
Club members gave up their pristine courts for a whole week to allow the visitors to play and enjoy the venue. Many of the teams stayed on after play to enjoy the relaxed friendly atmosphere of the club. On the Tuesday evening the Club hosted the Games Tennis Party, a BBQ for approximately180 of the Competitiors and Club Members, with music and dancing courtesy of local band and tennis parents JC and Angelina and special guests (including Kathy and Sol Grimshaw).
For many the highlight of the week was the Royal Visit from HRH The Earl of Wessex on June 30th. Prince Edward spent time watching and speaking to the competitiors of the games. Local school children came to see the Royal Visitor as he relaxed and wandered in the club grounds admiring the facilities and chatting with the Club members from both the Tennis and Croquet Sections. After officially cutting the ribbon to open the Clubs new Petanque Pitch Prince Edward entered the real spirit of the Games and threw the very first boule on the terrain.