Orkney to host 2025 Island Games
The organising committee for the Orkney 2025 Island Games has confirmed the rescheduled event will take place from July 12 to 18.
Orkney was due to host the Games in July 2023, but with Guernsey unable to host the Games this year owing to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision was taken by the International Island Games Association for the Guernsey Games to be moved to 2023 and the Orkney Games to 2025.
Gordon Deans, chairman of the Orkney 2025 Organising Committee. said the rescheduled dates would give the host islands more time to prepare for what will be the 20th staging of the Games when Bermuda is again expected to participate.
“As with so many sporting and cultural events across the world, the staging of the Orkney Games was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a change to the year in which we’ll host the Games,” Deans said.
“Since last year’s AGM at which this decision was taken, our organising committee has continued to meet, remotely of course, and have been working with our partners to progress our plans, including setting the new dates of the Games.
“This delay has also brought some welcome benefits, not least some breathing and recovery space for several of our sports, some of whom have perhaps struggled more than others throughout the pandemic.
“For many, the additional time has provided welcome opportunities to make improvements to facilities, increase membership and secure additional funding that will, come Games time, both enhance the competitor and spectator experience and provide lasting legacy benefits.
“We believe we are in a strong position in terms of our planning and are working tirelessly to ensure that we can deliver an event worthy of celebrating the incredible success story of this competition and indeed what will be, in 2025, the 20th Island Games.”
Gwenda Shearer, chairperson of Orkney Islands Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, added: “The Council is proud to support what will be the 20th International Island Games in 2025, an amazing success story, which has for almost 40 years provided a unique platform for member Islands across the globe to develop and enhance sport and tourism at all levels.
“It is an honour and a privilege for Orkney to have been selected and provides an opportunity for all our communities to come together safely and demonstrate to the world why our islands are so special.
“Competing on home soil with the tremendous support that we know will be given by communities in Orkney is going to make for a very special experience. Performing in front of family and friends and being able to compete in a familiar environment may just enable some real performance gains and personal bests for our athletes.”
Orkney is located off the north coast of Scotland and Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s director of events, said hosting the Games would be a boost for Scotland as well.
“The confirmation of dates for the 2025 Orkney Island Games is welcome news as we start our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” Bush said.
“Events play a vital role in our visitor economy and EventScotland is committed to supporting the delivery of a diverse portfolio of events that not only showcase Scotland as the perfect stage for events but also bring strong economic and social benefits to all regions across the country.
“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Orkney 2025 Organising Committee and Orkney Islands council to deliver a fantastic event that leaves a lasting sporting legacy for the islands."
The Games will see athletes from up to 24 islands across the world coming together to compete in 13 different sports, in a unique celebration of sport, fierce competition and friendship.
Working in partnership; Orkney Island Games Association, Orkney Islands Council, EventScotland and the Scottish Government came together to create a unique, strong and compelling plan to host the Games, with Orkney officially securing the Games in 2018.
For seven days in July 2025, the island group off the Scotland coast will provide the perfect setting for competition across 13 sports … archery, athletics, badminton, bowls, cycling, football, golf, gymnastics, sailing, shooting, swimming, squash and triathlon.
• More information about the Games is available at www.orkney2025.com, on Facebook ‘Orkney Island Games 2025’ and on Instagram at orkney2025