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Peninsula adopts Falklands

08 Mar 06 07:02
Falkland Island penguins mingle with the Queen's Baton. 

Falkland Island penguins mingle with the Queen's Baton.

The Falkland Islands Commonwealth Games team will be getting some local support in Melbourne - they have been adopted by the Shire of Mornington as their ‘second team’.

The team of six shooters will be vying for the Falklands’ first medal since the nation joined the Commonwealth Games competition, in Brisbane in 1982.

A British overseas territory, the isolated and sparsely-populated Falkland Islands lie in the Atlantic Ocean, some 480 kilometres north-east of the southern tip of South America.

Fishing and sheep farming are the main economic activities. The territory also has a small tourist industry; one of the main draws is the islands’ wildlife, including the penguins that breed there in their millions.

Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, on the other hand, is located just over an hour's drive from the city of Melbourne.

The Peninsula, as it is affectionately known, is often described as Melbourne's playground. It is one of the most popular informal recreational areas in the State.

The Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Justin Madden, said adopting a second team was one of the ways local communities could celebrate the Games in their own way.

“Adopting a second team is designed to build stronger communities by connecting people, whether they’re across the world or across the street,” Mr Madden said.

The Falkland Island team will be officially welcomed to the Shire of Mornington by the Mayor, Councillor Brian Stahl.

Two members of the team, Ken Aldridge and Chris McCallum, will compete in the Full Bore Rifle individual and pairs events in Bendigo.

The Islands will also be represented in Clay Target Shooting, with Steve Dent and Gary Clement competing in Skeet - individual and pairs - and Saul Pitaluga and Henry McLeod shooting the Olympic Trap and Double Trap - individual and pairs disciplines.

Patrick Watts has again been appointed Chef de Mission, while Ron Betts, an experienced shooter, will manage the Full Bore team.

Melbourne 2006 Volunteer Programme team member John Elfes, a former weapons instructor with the New South Wales police, will manage the Clay Target team. Fellow volunteer Stacey Roiall, a world-class clay pigeon shooter, will coach the Clay Target team.

Both have been in the Falklands, coaching the Island's 2006 Commonwealth Games shooters.

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