Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

It's not Great to call it Team GB

I am a 69-year-old native of Belfast, now resident in England since I joined the RAF as a boy in October 1958.

For a long time it has irked me that international sports teams from the UK have participated under the name Great Britain and not the United Kingdom.

Why is this? The UK is a more inclusive term. By using the name GB, the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Scilly Isles, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Hebrides, Orkney Islands and the Shetlands are excluded from the team.

I wrote to Kate Hoey, the then sports minister, a few years back to see if she could shed any light on the subject, but she just forwarded my letter to the head of the British Olympic Committee. He replied with a load of waffle which made no sense.

There is no country named 'Great Britain'; it is merely the largest of the British islands - hence the 'Great' (as in biggest).

Please use your clout to see why this anomaly exists. Maybe, by 2016, they could get it right.

MIKE BRADY

Hitchin, Hertfordshire

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