A CROWDFUNDING appeal has been set up to give all Team Isle of Wight hopefuls the chance to take part in the Island Games, being held in Gibraltar next year.

A 142-strong squad from the Isle of Wight will head to Gibraltar in July next year to compete against other Islands from across the world.

However, unlike many other Islands, the Isle of Wight receives no central funding, leaving athletes having to fund the trip themselves.

It will cost each individual around £800 to go and team managers want to select people for their talent, not their financial circumstances.

Martin Goodall, chairman of the Isle of Wight Island Games Association, said: “We don’t want money to stop us from taking the best team possible from the Island.

“Many of those we could select are either still at school or college or not working for different reasons.

“This event is like a mini Olympics and it’s something our athletes will never forget. Our team members are hugely talented, dedicated and are proud to represent the Island.

“We would love the Island community to get behind the team through our crowdfunding appeal to help us ensure no-one who deserves to go misses out.”

Team Isle of Wight will compete in 12 sports in Gibraltar — athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, judo, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis, tennis and triathlon.

The event runs from July 6 to 12.

To make a donation to the appeal, visit http://teamiow.org.uk/donate/