The Guild is built on teamwork

As we all know, teamwork can make all the difference in every walk of life and one of the awards up for grabs at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence is the Teamwork Award.

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Last year’s winners were the team behind the much-loved island institution, the Manx Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival, more commonly known as The Guild which has now been running for more than 125 years.

Run entirely by volunteers it is the primary showcase for local amateur talent in music, drama and dance for competitors of all ages from six to 100 years.

The Guild runs over nine days with a staggering 215 classes taking place in four locations at the Villa Marina and in St Thomas’ Church so it’s easy to imagine the level of teamwork it takes to keep it all running smoothly.

Sarah Kelly is chairman of the Manx Music Speech and Dance Festival. Talking about the process of entering the Awards she said: ’I can hardly believe it is a year since we applied for the 2017 awards, and I would absolutely recommend any organisation or individual to put their own application into the Awards.


’The process of writing the submission was long, because we had 125 years of history to draw from. There are few organisations that continued through both World Wars without stopping and have touched so many lives along the way.’

When it came to catching the judges’ eyes with her submission, Sarah went on: ’The Festival is almost entirely run by volunteers - with just our secretary and treasurer receiving honorariums, whilst our committee is very small our team comprises of so many other partnerships without whom we couldn’t continue - in particular I would mention Dandara our fabulous sponsors but there are so many others too.’

Sarah added: ’Of course, we could not continue without our competitors of which we had over 4,000 this year.

’We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds, and through competition it teaches the values of dignity and respect.

’Through words, music and dance we have upheld the rich heritage of the island and through those arts we have cherished the spirit of teamwork.’

’As an organisation that has many facets we did apply for a few categories at the Awards and I would urge others to do the same if they can, we were delighted to be finalists in the Teamwork category and of course to win was truly amazing.

’The whole evening for me was filled with pride, not just because I was there representing a finalist and then to be a winner, or because I am Manx, but because we were celebrating everything that is great about being here on the Isle of Man and that is absolutely what the Guild and the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence represent.’

• Are you part of a great team?

If you are, tell everyone about it by entering this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.

There are 16 award categories, offering opportunities for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams, arts, cultural and charitable organisations.