Island Games

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Island Games
GenreMulti-sports event
FrequencyBiennial
Location(s)Various
Inaugurated1985 (1985)
Most recent2019 Island Games
Next event2021 Island Games
Participants~ 2,000
Organised byIIGA
SponsorNatWest International
WebsiteOfficial IIGA website

The Island Games (currently known as the NatWest International Island Games for sponsorship reasons) are biannual international multi-sports events organised by the International Island Games Association (IIGA). Competitor teams each represent different island communities (with one team from the peninsula of Gibraltar) which are IIGA members. Currently all competitor teams represent non-sovereign territories of European nations - some within European waters and some further overseas.

The most recent edition was 2019 which took place in Gibraltar, with around 2,000 competitors from 22 competing islands or island groups competing in 14 sports. The next games will be hosted by Guernsey in 2021.

History[edit]

The Island Games began in 1985 as the Inter-Island Games, as part of the Isle of Man International Year of Sport, and were intended to be a one-off sporting celebration only. Geoffrey Corlett, who became the first Games Director, not only contacted the islands surrounding the United Kingdom, but also encouraged the countries of Iceland and Malta, the territories of Faroe Islands, Greenland, Saint Helena, the Channel Islands and others to participate.

Initially, fifteen islands with 600 competitors and officials took part in seven sports,[1] with the total cost of staging the Games being put at £70,000. The track and field events were held on an eight-lane grass track, a far cry from the current games, which now use synthetic tracks in stadiums capable of holding thousands of spectators. The Games of 1985 were so successful that organisers decided to hold a similar event two years later.[2] The games have grown from strength to strength with limits now in place over the number of teams, currently 23 and the number of sports at each games, currently 12–14. Sark could be considered the most successful island, their population of 600 having acquired 20 medals by 2015, one for every 30 people.

NatWest International has been the main sponsor of the games since 1999. In April 2018, they signed a deal extending their sponsorship until at least 2021.

Game venues[edit]

Faroese stamp to the 1989 Island Games: Rowing
Football
Year Games Host Island Participating
Islands
Athletes Sports
1985 I  Isle of Man 15 700 7
1987 II  Guernsey 18 1,049 9
1989 III  Faroe Islands 15 800 11
1991 IV  Åland 17 1,500 13
1993 V  Isle of Wight 19 1,448 14
1995 VI  Gibraltar 18 1,214 13
1997 VII  Jersey 20 ~2,000 13
1999 VIII  Gotland 22 1,858 14
2001 IX  Isle of Man 22 2,020 15
2003 X  Guernsey 23 2,129 15
2005 XI  Shetland 24 1,658 14
2007 XII  Rhodes[3] 25 2,343 14
2009 XIII  Åland 24 2,286 14
2011 XIV  Isle of Wight 24 2,311 14
2013 XV  Bermuda 22 1,296 14
2015 XVI  Jersey 24 2,430 14
2017 XVII  Gotland 23 2,333 14[4]
2019 XVIII  Gibraltar[5][6][7] 24 1,700 14[8]
2021 Postponed due to COVID-19 Pandemic[9][10]
2023 XIX  Guernsey[11][12] 24 ~3,000 14
2025 XX  Orkney[13][12] 13
2027 XXI  Ynys Môn[14][12]
2029 XXI  Isle of Man[12]

Guernsey put in a bid for the 2021 games following the Faroe Islands' withdrawal from hosting.[15] The bid was approved in July 2016. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Island games were cancelled and rescheduled for 2023 with Guernsey still as hosts, with future hosts pushed out by two years as well.

Orkney will host the 2025 Games. They were awarded the right to host on 7 July 2018 at the AGM in Gibraltar.

Ynys Môn are contemplating a bid for the 2025 games,[16] the bid being mentioned by the MP for Ynys Môn in the House of Commons.[17] So are the Isle of Man.[18]

In May 2018, the Parliament of the Faroe Islands guaranteed €1,500,000 towards hosting the Games in or before 2029.[19]

In August 2018 it was reported that the Falkland Islands are considering hosting the Games in 2033, and "the Island Games Executive is planning to visit the Falklands in 2020 for their Spring Meeting" to discuss the proposition.[20]

Participation[edit]

A total of twenty-seven islands, island groups or territories have participated in the Island Games; eleven of these have participated in every Island Games.

Island Games participants and total medals won
Island(s) Country and status Population Years Gold Silver Bronze Total
 Åland Finland Finnish autonomous province 28,666 1985– 187 196 184.5 567.5
 Alderney United Kingdom Part of a British crown dependency 1,900 1987, 1993– 0 2 3 5
 Bermuda United Kingdom British overseas territory 64,200 2003– 105 113 113 331
 Cayman Islands United Kingdom British overseas territory 56,700 1999– 128 103 82 313
 Falkland Islands United Kingdom British overseas territory 2,900 1993– 1 9 12 22
 Faroe Islands Denmark Autonomous territory within the
Kingdom of Denmark
49,700 1985– 252 234 275 761
 Frøya Norway Norwegian municipality island 4,300 1985– 1 1 2 4
 Gibraltar United Kingdom British overseas territory 30,000 1987– 74.5 83.5 109 267
 Gotland Sweden Swedish county 57,200 1985– 325.5 240.5 244 810
 Greenland Denmark Autonomous territory within
within the Kingdom of Denmark
56,000 1989– 22 30 35.5 87.5
 Guernsey United Kingdom British crown dependency 65,800 1985– 482 500 492 1474
 Hitra Norway Norwegian municipality island 4,250 1985–1989, 1997– 4 9 10 22
 Isle of Man United Kingdom British crown dependency 84,500 1985– 510 479 433.5 1422.5
 Isle of Wight England English county
 United Kingdom
138,400 1985– 188 183 212 583
 Jersey United Kingdom British crown dependency 105,500 1985– 593 584 516.3 1693.3
Menorca Menorca Spain Spanish island 94,400 2007– 50 49 67 166
 Orkney Islands Scotland Scottish council area
 United Kingdom
21,300 1985– 23 40 43 106
 Rhodes Greece Greek island - a separate municipality 115,500 1999–2011, 2015 53 52 45 150
 Saaremaa Estonia Estonian island - county 31,000 1991– 116 121 98.5 335.5
 Saint Helena United Kingdom British overseas territory 4,250 1985–1987, 1997– 3 3 5 11
 Sark United Kingdom Part of a British crown dependency 600 1987–2011, 2015– 3 16 7 26
 Shetland Islands Scotland Scottish council area
 United Kingdom
23,200 1985– 62 80 109 251
 Western Isles
Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Scotland Scottish council area
 United Kingdom
27,400 2005– 28 22 26 76
Anglesey Ynys Môn Wales Welsh principal area
 United Kingdom
69,700 1985– 37 35 52 124
 Iceland  Iceland 329,000 1985–1997 50 45 41 136
 Malta  Malta 445,000 1985–1987 6 2 2 10
 Prince Edward Island Canada Canadian province 140,000 1991–2007 6 6 9 21

Islands marked in grey are no longer members of the IIGA and so cannot compete at the Island Games.

Of the 24 current IIGA members, two (Bermuda and the Cayman Islands) have competed in their own right at the Olympic Games. Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey and St. Helena have each sent teams to the Commonwealth Games.

Sports[edit]

The host country chooses between 12 and 14 different sports for their games from this list:

Sport I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV XV XVI Total XVII XVIII
Archery Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 14 Green tickY
Athletics Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 16 Green tickY Green tickY
Badminton Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 15 Green tickY Green tickY
Basketball Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8 Green tickY Green tickY
Bowls (Indoor‡,
Outdoor, or Ten Pin*)
Green tickY Green tickY* Green tickY 3 Green tickY*
Cycling Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 15 Green tickY Green tickY
Football Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 15 Green tickY
Golf Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 12 Green tickY
Gymnastics Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10 Green tickY Green tickY
Judo Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6 Green tickY
Sailing (may include
Sailboarding*)
Green tickY* Green tickY* Green tickY* Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY* Green tickY* Green tickY* Green tickY* Green tickY* Green tickY* Green tickY* 12
Shooting Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 16 Green tickY Green tickY
Squash Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 3 Green tickY
Swimming Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 16 Green tickY Green tickY
Table Tennis Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 14 Green tickY Green tickY
Tennis Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 12 Green tickY Green tickY
Triathlon Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Volleyball (may include
Beach Volleyball*)
Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY* Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY* Green tickY* 16 Green tickY* Green tickY*
Total sports 7 9 11 13 14 13 13 14 15 15 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14

Notably, the Island Games' football tournament is one of the most well-established tournaments of non-FIFA international football.

Olympic athletes[edit]

Islanders who have gone on to participate in Olympic Games events include:

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Inaugural Inter-Island Games - Isle of Man 1985". iiga.org.
  2. ^ "The Games". Jersey2015.com. Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  3. ^ "NatWest Island Games - Rhodes 2007 June 30th - July 6th". Rhodes Results 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  4. ^ "2017 sports". Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  5. ^ James Law. "BBC Sport - Island Games: Menorca pull out of hosting 2019 event". BBC Sport.
  6. ^ "BBC Sport - Island Games: Gibraltar bid to host 2019 competition". BBC Sport.
  7. ^ "Guernsey to host the 2021 Island Games". IIGA.
  8. ^ "2019 Island Games: Gibraltar axes football, cycling and volleyball".
  9. ^ "Guernsey NatWest International Island Games 2021 postponed". International Island Games Association. 26 September 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  10. ^ "'Stability needed after Games postponement'". Jersey Evening Post. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Guernsey to host 2021 Island Games". BBC News. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d "2021 Island Games Postponed To 2023". 9 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Orkney to host 2023 Island Games". 7 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Ynys Môn secure rights to host International Island Games". 28 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Island Games: Guernsey to bid to host 2021 event". 4 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Anglesey's 2025 Island Games bid 'getting serious'". 7 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Commonwealth Games: Wales". Hansard. 16 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Manx bid to host future Island Games". Manx radio. 11 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Faroe Islands to bid for the Island Games". 30 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Falklands wants to host the 2033 Island Games". 27 August 2018.
  21. ^ "About the Games". IIGA.

External links[edit]