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TNB employee's represent Gibraltar in the 2023 Island Games

Matthew Borg, Data Management Analyst, Kasper Thy Jessen, Corporate Banking Manager and James Linarea, Head of IT on Saturday 8th of July compete in the Island Games 2023 taking place in Guernsey. Luke Henshaw, Transaction Administrator, is also heading to Guernsey for the games as he joins the medical team as a sports therapist.

Matthew Borg, Triathlete

 1. What do you enjoy most about Triathlon?

Being able to tackle three disciplines creates diversity within my training routine. The increase in popularity the sport has had in recent years makes competitions more exciting and enjoyable.

2. If you weren’t competing in Triathlon what other sport would you like to compete in?

From a young age I was always involved in different types of sports. I took part in Swimming, Football, Basketball, Table Tennis, Running and Rowing. I took up Cycling when I was sixteen and getting involved with Triathlon. I have always enjoyed a variety of physical activity, my personal favourite being running, as this is the activity my whole family has been involved with. I enjoy competing in running events, both locally and in Spain. I would have been competing more frequently in Running if I wasn’t competing in Triathlon.

3. When you started doing Triathlon was competing in the Island Games always a goal?

I have always enjoyed some competition when being involved in sports. I believe this is what makes you enjoy it and what keeps you training hard and staying committed to the sport. I have always strived to be the best I can in what I do, and the opportunities to challenge myself and try to represent my country in international events is something I would have always enjoyed achieving. I am proud to be representing Gibraltar in Guernsey for the 2023 Island Games.

James Linares, 
Badminton Player

1. What do you enjoy most about badminton?

The speed of the game – it’s the fastest racket sport!

2. If you weren’t competing in badminton what other sport would you like to compete in?

I would love to give archery a go! I don’t think it’s a sport in Gibraltar, so would be cool to introduce this!

3. When you started playing badminton was competing in the Island Games always a goal?

My ambitions for the Island Games actually started when I was 8 and playing tennis. My tennis coach always mentioned the Island Games, and I always wanted to represent Gibraltar in one. I was not very good at tennis, and started badminton during my GCSEs and managed to improve enough to start representing Gibraltar in the 2011 Island Games in Isle of Wight when I was 16!

Kasper Thy Jessen, Badminton player

1. What do you enjoy most about badminton?

The sport incorporates a physical, tactical and technical skill set. There are always areas that you can work on and improve. It is played in most of Europe and it gives opportunities to play against many different opponents. I have played since I was 5 and I am yet to get tired of it 😊

2. If you weren’t competing in badminton what other sport would you like to compete in?

When I was younger I always played football and badminton but I think if I should choose a different sport now it would probably be padel or pickleball (new sport coming to Europe). They are both racket based and I would be able to use the same but I believe the physical element is slightly less than badminton.

3. When you started playing badminton was competing in the Island Games always a goal?

I moved to Gibraltar when I was 23 so until then I never heard of the Island Games. I have always had a dream of representing Denmark when I was smaller and played a couple of development tournaments when I was around 16. Since I moved to Gibraltar, the Island Games have always been the big goal and I am this year playing my 7th Island Games and I continue to look forward to it every time..

Luke Henshaw, Sports Therapist

1. What made you become a ‘Sports Therapist’?

I decided to become a ‘Sports Therapist’, by chance. Always being involved in sport since a young age I competed in athletics and football) and then at 17 I coached football, Coaching youngsters is not only being a coach but also a mentor, injury assistant etc. I felt drawn towards the injury side of the role and so decided to go for a degree which encompassed Sport and Injury management more specifically than physiotherapy.

2. How did you become involved with being a ‘Sports Therapy’ for those representing Gibraltar in the Island Games?

After qualifying BSc Sports therapy in 2007, I decided to play badminton as a new sport. I joined the Badminton Association Leagues for team doubles, as part of the Lions FC badminton team. In January 2009 current badminton president Ivan De Haro asked me if I was interested in being part of the medical team for the 2009 Aland Island Games, only after realising I had helped treat some other members of the association. This being my 6th games I have represented Gibraltar as part of the medical team as a whole for the Badminton association since 2009 par jersey 2015 for other commitments.

3. Has Sports therapy always been a passion of yours?

I have continued to utilise my skills at university since qualifying, although as an extra. I joined Lions Gibraltar FC and in 2013 and I am now going on to my 11th Season with the team. I have always enjoyed helping athletes get back from injury to full fitness and ensure they are back to full form in order to participate. It’s a good feeling when patients achieve their goals, as a result of your assistance.

One of the best parts of being a Sports Therapist, has been that it has allowed me to travel to quite a few places over the years. Between 6 Islands games including the Bermuda Games and also taking part last year in the UEFA Conference League Qualifiers with FC Magpies.