Guernsey will now host the Games between 8 and 14 July 2023
Following the announcement in September that the Guernsey 2021 NatWest Interna1onal Island Games would be postponed, the Interna1onal Island Games Associa1on (IIGA) have announced that Guernsey will now host the Games between 8 and 14 July 2023.
The Chair of the IIGA Jorgen Petterson stated “I am delighted that Member Islands can now begin looking forward to what will be an exciting summer of sport in 2023 and we would like to thank the Guernsey 2023 Organising Committee for their commitment in making certain the Games are staged and preserving this important competitive opportunity for athletes from our Member Islands.”
Julia Bowditch, Games Director for Guernsey 2023, commented on the date change “The 8-14 July 2023 was when the Games were due to be hosted in Orkney, so most of the Islands were already holding the date. We have taken sometime to liaise with the 14 sports here in Guernsey that will be part of the Games to ensure the dates will work for them. The sporting calendar is still changing due to other events being postponed and moved as a result of the global pandemic, so there will inevitably be an overlap with other events, but hopefully these dates will work for all of the Islands and sports.
“We were well advanced with plans for the event to be hosted in 2021” added Julia. “As a result of the postponement, we have put a lot of this planning on hold and will be able to pick it up again nearer the actual date. However, there will inevitably be some elements of planning that will need to be started again, and we also need to consider any new guidelines that we will have to implement because of the pandemic. At this stage, we do not want to be incurring any unnecessary additional costs, so we will be putting a lot of things on hold until nearer to 2023. We will also take the opportunity to review all of the planning we have done so far, revise our costings, branding and communication plans, and address any other issues that may arise between now and 2023.”
Rob Girard from NatWest International said “Island communities have been hit hard by Covid and the impact of sport on mental health and wellbeing has been in the spotlight in the past twelve months. Sport brings communties together, and the NatWest International Island Games is a celebration of both sport and community in an island seTting so this gives us truly something to look forward to as we travel on the road to recovery. As a bank our purpose is to help individuals and communities thrive and our goal is to work closely with the IIGA and the Guernsey Organising Committee to deliver a fantastic Games to liFt the spirits for all the athletes, support teams and spectators alike.”
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Commi3ee for Educa?on, Sport & Culture, said: “It was such a shame, but completely understandable, that the 2021 Games weren’t able to go ahead but with the dates now firmly booked in the diary for 2023 it gives the whole spor?ng community something to both look forward to and work towards for those seeking to compete. Our Commi3ee is going to make sure that the “Sport” part of our mandate receives the focus and push it absolutely deserves this term and we look forward to continuing our work with the Guernsey 2023 Organising Committee to make sure the event is a huge success. Guernsey routinely punches well above its weight in the sporting world and I know the 2023 NatWest International Island Games will be another example of that.’
Dame Mary Perkins, Chair of the Guernsey 2023 Organising Commi3ee added “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the States of Guernsey, our sponsors, partners, volunteers and sport coordinators who have helped us to navigate throughout these challenging times. Although things will be quieter on the Games front over the next few months, we hope that everyone will s?ll stay involved. This is far more than just a sporting event - it brings together Islands in a moment of celebration. We will use this time to work as hard as we can to put on the best event possible and give Guernsey and the other Member Islands something to look forward to.” - IIAG