The Twinning Games; St. Brelade/Granville take the trophy
by Martha Bernstein
FINALLY, after almost 3 years of preparation and planning the Twinning Games were opened at Les Quennevais Sports Grounds on Saturday 8th June by the Bailiff Sir Michael Birt.
The Official Games started with a procession of all the competitors lead by a Scots Piper and Miss Battle of Flowers 2013. Each Parish "Miss" led their competitors around the arena carrying a sign with the Parish/Town name on it and a member of the team carried the Parish Flag. The official welcome by the Bailiff highlighted the importance of the connections between Jersey and Normandy and then in a flash the teams were off competing with passion and determination.
Ten Parishes with their French counterparts from Normandy set out to fight for the "Coupe Perpetuelle". Six team members from each of the Parishes and their french twin did battle in a variety of games including a modern twist on the old favourite egg and spoon race where the competitors had a large spoon and a tennis ball to run with.
On what was otherwise a sunny day there was a very strong wind that seemed to be blowing across the fields from the Arctic! St Brelade and Granville held the lead most of the day and by the last race they had to finish in the top 5 to win - in the end they placed 2nd. The overall winners were the home side of St Brelade/Granville. In second place was St Ouen/Coutances and in third was St Peter/Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët.
The Games proved that the friendship between the Parishes and their French Towns is as strong as ever and there is no doubt that the next event in 2 years time will be fun to participate in. The Twinning Committee of St Brelade would like to thank everyone who was involved with the event.
In the evening there was a Vin D'Honneur sponsored by the Twinning Association of St Brelade for all the competitors and invited supporters and dignitaries from each Parish. Members of the Association had worked hard to transform the Main Gym at Les Quennevais into an inviting space for the evening. The evening also had a more serious aspect to it with the presentation of gifts to each Parish/Twinned Town of a commemorative trophy as well as the presentation of the 3 Cups. Banque National De Paris, Logicalis, Le Gallais and Luce were all thanked for their sponsorship of the event as were Education Sports and Culture who had helped in providing the venue for both the games and the evening, both the Minister, Deputy Patrick Ryan and the Head of Sport at the Department, Derek De La Haye were present.
After the formal speeches it was time for everyone to let their hair down and dance to the sound of the band Badlabecques - who sing in Jérriais and were great fun. The evening ended with many signs that the "entente" was very "cordiale" and long may it last!
Chairman Julian Bernstein summed up the event by saying "The pleasure is in watching the youngsters interacting in a social setting as well as on the sports field. If there were any barriers of language they soon disappeared and the teams all seemed to be having a fun experience. The committees of all the Parishes and Communes in Normandy should be proud of the way their youngsters behaved and we look forward with pleasure to defending the Trophy in Normandy in 2 years time!"