|Most recent||2019 Island Games|
|Next event||2021 Island Games|
|Website||Official 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.
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, 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. 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.
|1985||I||Isle of Man||15||700||7|
|1993||V||Isle of Wight||19||1,448||14|
|2001||IX||Isle of Man||22||2,020||15|
|2011||XIV||Isle of Wight||24||2,311||14|
|2021||Postponed due to COVID-19 Pandemic|
|2029||XXI||Isle of Man|
Guernsey put in a bid for the 2021 games following the Faroe Islands' withdrawal from hosting. 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.
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.
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(s)||Country and status||Population||Years||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Total|
|Åland||Finnish autonomous province||28,666||1985–||187||196||184.5||567.5|
|Alderney||Part of a British crown dependency||1,900||1987, 1993–||0||2||3||5|
|Bermuda||British overseas territory||64,200||2003–||105||113||113||331|
|Cayman Islands||British overseas territory||56,700||1999–||128||103||82||313|
|Falkland Islands||British overseas territory||2,900||1993–||1||9||12||22|
|Faroe Islands|| Autonomous territory within the
Kingdom of Denmark
|Frøya||Norwegian municipality island||4,300||1985–||1||1||2||4|
|Gibraltar||British overseas territory||30,000||1987–||74.5||83.5||109||267|
|Greenland|| Autonomous territory within
within the Kingdom of Denmark
|Guernsey||British crown dependency||65,800||1985–||482||500||492||1474|
|Hitra||Norwegian municipality island||4,250||1985–1989, 1997–||4||9||10||22|
|Isle of Man||British crown dependency||84,500||1985–||510||479||433.5||1422.5|
|Isle of Wight|| English county
|Jersey||British crown dependency||105,500||1985–||593||584||516.3||1693.3|
|Orkney Islands|| Scottish council area
|Rhodes||Greek island - a separate municipality||115,500||1999–2011, 2015||53||52||45||150|
|Saaremaa||Estonian island - county||31,000||1991–||116||121||98.5||335.5|
|Saint Helena||British overseas territory||4,250||1985–1987, 1997–||3||3||5||11|
|Sark||Part of a British crown dependency||600||1987–2011, 2015–||3||16||7||26|
|Shetland Islands|| Scottish council area
| Western Isles
Na h-Eileanan an Iar
| Scottish council area
|Ynys Môn|| Welsh principal area
|Prince Edward Island||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.
The host country chooses between 12 and 14 different sports for their games from this list:
Outdoor, or Ten Pin*)
|Sailing (may include
|Volleyball (may include
Notably, the Island Games' football tournament is one of the most well-established tournaments of non-FIFA international football.
Islanders who have gone on to participate in Olympic Games events include:
- Mark Cavendish (Isle of Man) — cycling (Olympic silver medal winner)
- Dale Garland (Guernsey) - 4 × 400 m
- Rebecca Heyliger (Bermuda) - swimming
- Pál Joensen (Faroe Islands) — swimming (World Championship bronze medal winner)
- Lee Merrien (Guernsey) - Marathon
- Cydonie Mothersille (Cayman Islands) — 200m (World Championship bronze medal winner)
- Kelly Sotherton (Isle of Wight) — heptathlon and 400m (Olympic bronze medal winner)
- Mattias Sunneborn (Gotland) — long jump and 200m (World Indoor Championship silver medal winner)
- Albert Torres (Menorca) — cycling (World Championship gold medal winner)
- "Inaugural Inter-Island Games - Isle of Man 1985". iiga.org.
- "The Games". Jersey2015.com. Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "NatWest Island Games - Rhodes 2007 June 30th - July 6th". Rhodes Results 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "2017 sports". Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- James Law. "BBC Sport - Island Games: Menorca pull out of hosting 2019 event". BBC Sport.
- "BBC Sport - Island Games: Gibraltar bid to host 2019 competition". BBC Sport.
- "Guernsey to host the 2021 Island Games". IIGA.
- "2019 Island Games: Gibraltar axes football, cycling and volleyball".
- "Guernsey NatWest International Island Games 2021 postponed". International Island Games Association. 26 September 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "'Stability needed after Games postponement'". Jersey Evening Post. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Guernsey to host 2021 Island Games". BBC News. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- "2021 Island Games Postponed To 2023". 9 December 2020.
- "Orkney to host 2023 Island Games". 7 July 2018.
- "Ynys Môn secure rights to host International Island Games". 28 September 2020.
- "Island Games: Guernsey to bid to host 2021 event". 4 August 2015.
- "Anglesey's 2025 Island Games bid 'getting serious'". 7 July 2015.
- "Commonwealth Games: Wales". Hansard. 16 March 2016.
- "Manx bid to host future Island Games". Manx radio. 11 July 2016.
- "Faroe Islands to bid for the Island Games". 30 May 2018.
- "Falklands wants to host the 2033 Island Games". 27 August 2018.
- "About the Games". IIGA.
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