A new project is underway to better co-ordinate sporting fixtures and improve inter-island travel options for teams and competitors.
Jersey Sport, the new organisation overseeing the development of sport in the island, is consulting with local travel companies and wants to hear from associations that regularly send competitors across the water to Guernsey and France.
The aim is to identify weekends when it would be possible to put on return inter-island day trips for sportsmen and women as well as spectators. It is hoped through improved co-ordination it can be made easier for competitors to get off island, have time to play their matches, and get back all in one day.
“Since beginning this job in Jersey this summer it’s been clear that co-ordinating and arranging inter-island travel, particularly day trips, is one of the biggest challenges facing local clubs and teams,” said Jersey Sport CEO Catriona McAllister.
“We think we can make a real difference in this area though and work with travel providers, sports groups and the Guernsey Sports Commission to better organise fixture scheduling, by targeting a few key weekends in the year when return journeys can be scheduled specifically for teams and their fans.
“While in some circumstances it would be good for a series of smaller sports to coincide their fixtures and therefore travel together, in other circumstances some teams can struggle to find enough seats if there are too many events clashing on the same weekend.”
Condor Ferries and Blue Islands are among the organisations collaborating on the project.
“Condor recognises the importance of inter-island travel and includes day trip options within the current schedule,”
added Condor Ferries’ CEO Paul Luxon.
“We also assist many key fixtures and schedule bespoke sailings and offer discounted rates to sporting groups. We are keen to support Jersey Sport along with their counterparts in Guernsey and welcome such an initiative to co-ordinate sports cluster weekend dates so we can play our part in offering transport services between the islands.”
Blue Islands CEO Rob Veron said: “We are passionate about inter-island sport and regularly operate additional charters to ensure fixtures go ahead.
“We recognise the importance of such fixtures amongst our island communities and are looking forward to being part of this project to facilitate even more inter-island sport, and encourage all teams to engage with Jersey Sport.
“The more information we have and the earlier it is available, the more we can do to match up travel requirements in each direction to ensure we can offer our lowest possible fares.”
Sports associations are being encouraged to feed into the project by emailing in details of their normal seasons and date ranges, plus the time of year that extra services might be beneficial.
Players and clubs are urged to contact their association leaders, who can then email James.Tilley@JerseySport.je to have their say or get more information.