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Commonwealth Games: Gibraltar's team come home


Fabian Vinet, Minister for Sport, yesterday welcomed back to Gibraltar the team that participated at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Mr Vinet – who together with the CEO of the Sports and Leisure Authority, Joe Hernandez, was in Melbourne during the initial stages of competition – visited the team at the Games Village and saw the accommodation and administration facilities provided to them. He also witnessed some of the events in which they participated and commented:

“It was a welcome experience to see for myself the very high standard of competition which our sportsmen and women met, as well as the commendable and promising results achieved. The highlight must be the excellent performance by Heloise MaƱasco in the Air Rifle Shooting. She achieved a fantastic second place in the pre-Games Commonwealth Shooting Federation Badge Shoot with a most impressive National Record score of 398 out of a possible 400. In the Games proper Heloise was the first ever Gibraltar participant to reach a Commonwealth Games Final, finishing a very meritorious eighth, amongst a really world-class field. Our swimmers also achieved their objective of breaking a record number of National Records. In general, all our participants represented Gibraltar with great pride and effort, proving that their hard preparatory work for the Games had been worthwhile. Prior to the team leaving for Australia, I told them that the competition would be tough but that I was certain they would make Gibraltar proud. That is what they have done and all must be congratulated for the splendid way in which they represented the Rock.”
During his stay in Melbourne, Mr Vinet also attended the Third Commonwealth Sports Ministers’ Meeting, at which it was agreed to promote the benefits of Sport by encouraging Sport and Health ministries to work together and to promote healthy living through sports programmes. Present at the meeting were most of the Commonwealth countries and territories and matters of concern to all were discussed in a concerted effort to continue the development of sport in all regions. Commenting on this Meeting, Mr Vinet explained:
“The need for political and financial commitment to sport was one of the matters highlighted at the meeting. I had the opportunity of speaking to a wide range of influential individuals, including the Ministers for Sport of Halifax (Canada) and Nigeria, Commonwealth and Olympic athletes and dignitaries, and I explained to them the wide range of sporting facilities which we are lucky to enjoy in Gibraltar, despite our limited geographical size. The fact that Government is investing very considerable sums in the provision of new sporting facilities, the free-of-charge use of those sports facilities and the increasing resources devoted to sports development programmes was judged extremely positively.”
Other important contacts were made by Mr Vinet with representatives of ‘UK Sport’ and the Scottish Minister for Sport with whom it has been agreed to continue and develop contacts.

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