The Isle of Wight Island Games Association has become a charity and managers say it opens up new funding streams, as it continues to support young sportspeople on the Island.

The Isle of Wight Island Games Association’s bid to become a charity has been approved by the Charity Commission.

Association chairman Martin Goodall said:

“It’s really good news for Team Isle of Wight. A huge amount of work has gone into gaining this status, as we recognise the potential of attracting more financial support.

“The Island Games is the pinnacle event for many of our athletes. It’s like a mini Olympics, but it costs an awful lot of money to take part.

“We’ve always tried to ensure people aren’t priced out of going and I’m sure this will help us do that more in the future.”

The Association has already managed to secure thousands of pounds ahead of Gibraltar 2019.

£1,500 has been donated by the WightAid Foundation, which was created to help support projects and activities that benefit the Island.

Pledges have also been made by the Isle of Wight Sports Foundation, Newport Business Association and Newport Grammar School Trust, taking the overall total to more than £5,000 in grant funding, to help cover competition costs for squad members either in education, training or earning the minimum wage.

A series of bag-packing events held by competitors in Marks & Spencer and Morrisons also raised more than £3,000.

The 2019 Natwest Island Games takes place between 6 and 12 July.