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Why will sports lovers be flocking to the Isle of Wight next weekend?

If you’re a sporty type, you’re still in time to head for the Isle of Wight next weekend. The island is hosting the Nat West Island Games 2011, which kick off with a spectacular opening ceremony to be held in Ryde on Saturday the 25th of June. The ceremony has generous funding from the Arts Council and includes a choreographed carnival parade which promises to be a colourful hoot.

Twenty five islands will be participating in the games and 4000 participants are expected to compete in and help with 14 sports, including judo, gymnastics, swimming and volleyball. Events take place over 7 days and entrance is free, except for the football. The games provide an opportunity for sportsmen and women from island communities to compete against other islanders and meet likeminded people.

If you want to join in, or simply visit the island which Queen Victoria and Prince Albert chose as their seaside retreat, the Isle of Wight is well served by ferries. There are regular ferry services from Southampton to East Cowes, from Portsmouth to Fishbourne and Ryde, and from Lymington to Yarmouth. There’s also a hovercraft from Southsea to Ryde. So step aboard for a great island experience!

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