Dates confirmed for 2023 Guernsey Island Games
The postponed Guernsey 2021 NatWest International Island Games has a new date … July 8 to 14, 2023, the organisers confirmed today.
The announcement was made last September that the Games, originally scheduled for this summer in Guernsey, had been postponed and rescheduled for 2023. Yesterday the International Island Games Association confirmed that the event will take place in the second week of July.
“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,” Jorgen Pettersson, chairman of the IIGA, said yesterday.
Julia Bowditch, the Games Director for Guernsey 2023, explained that the dates are the same for the original 2023 Games, although the host island has changed.
“July 8-14, 2023 was when the Games were due to be hosted in Orkney, so most of the islands were already holding the date,” she explained.
“We have taken some time 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.
Bowditch added: “We were well advanced with plans for the event to be hosted in 2021. 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, of 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 communities 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.”
Dame Mary Perkins, the chairwoman of the Guernsey 2023 Organising Committee, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the states of Guernsey, our sponsors, partners, volunteers and sport co-ordinators 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 still 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.”
At the 2019 Games in Gibraltar, Bermuda’s 48-member team won 14 medals to finish seventeenth out of 22 islands.
“The Bermuda contingent is usually around 100 athletes and with the extra time to prepare, the Bermuda Island Games organisers are hoping we will have at least that number for 2023,” Jon Beard, the Bermuda chairman, added.
The sports involved are archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, football, golf, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis and tennis.