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Plenty of Manx cheer

06 Mar 06 07:37
Neil Parsons of the Isle of Man receives help from Canadian bronze medalist Susan Nattrass, after his trigger broke at the Manchester Games. 

Neil Parsons of the Isle of Man receives help from Canadian bronze medallist Susan Nattrass, after his trigger broke at the Manchester Games.

When the Isle of Man starts competing at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne there will be at least 78,000 people cheering them on.


That is the population of their Irish Sea home, a 50km by 20km island, lying between England, Scotland and Ireland.


The Manx team has only 27 members, but they will have the support of the whole island as they strive for gold in seven sports - Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Gymnastics, Lawn Bowls and Shooting.


The Isle of Man has competed in every Commonwealth Games since their first appearance at the Cardiff Games in 1958 - winning seven medals, including two gold.


There is no question Shooting dominates the team, though past successes have also come in Boxing and there are strong hopes for Gymnastics success in Melbourne.


The 10-strong Shooting squad includes Harry Creevy who will be the Isle of Man’s flag bearer at the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

This is the sixth Games appearance for the Small Bore shooter, who is ranked number two in the United Kingdom. He has reached the quarter finals in the last three Commonwealth Games.

“It's a great honour to be flag bearer. I will hopefully do the Island proud and hold the flag high,” Creevy told the Isle of Man Today newspaper.

Dane Harrop, 27, will captain the Isle of Man team and is competing in his third Commonwealth Games, after appearances in Kuala Lumpur and Manchester.


A winner of four gold medals in the Island Games, Harrop says the honour of being captain for the Melbourne Games is likely to be the highlight of his sporting career.


Cyclist Mark Kelly is also competing for the third time, following in the Commonwealth cycle tracks of his father who represented the island at three Games in the 1970s.

The Isle of Man team for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games is:


Aquatics: Olivia Rawlinson, Dane Harrop, Adam Jackson, Emily Crookall-Nixon.

Athletics: Steve Partington, Martin Aram.
Badminton: Matthew Wilkinson, Andrew Fairhurst.

Cycling: Jonathon Bellis, Mark Cavendish, Andrew Cook, Graeme Hatcher, Mark Kelly, Andrew Roche.

Gymnastics: Alex Hedges.

Lawn Bowls: Pauline Kelly, Maureen Payne.

Shooting: Harry Creevy, Tim Kneale, David Walton, Neil Parsons, Philip Glover, Glenn Catlin, Suzanne Cubbon, Trevor Boyles, Lara Ward, David Clague.

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