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The Island Games (currently known as the NatWest International Island Games for sponsorship reasons) are an international multi-sports event 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.

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
Website2017 Island Games

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.

Contents

HistoryEdit

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 24 and the number of sports at each games, currently 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 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 venuesEdit

 
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 ~2,000 14[8]
2021 XIX   Guernsey[9] 24 ~3,000 14
2023 XX   Orkney[10] 13

Guernsey put in a bid for the 2021 games following the Faroe Islands' withdrawal from hosting.[11] The bid was approved in July 2016.

Orkney will host the 2023 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,[12] the bid being mentioned by the MP for Ynys Môn in the House of Commons.[13] So are the Isle of Man.[14]

In May 2018, the Parliament of the Faroe Islands guaranteed €1,500,000 towards hosting the Games in or before 2029.[15]

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.[16]

ParticipationEdit

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   Finnish autonomous province 28,666 1985– 157 172 155 484
  Alderney   Part of a British crown dependency 1,900 1987, 1993– 0 2 3 5
  Bermuda   British overseas territory 64,200 2003– 88 80 99 267
  Cayman Islands   British overseas territory 56,700 1999– 99 73 65 237
  Falkland Islands   British overseas territory 2,900 1993– 1 7 11 19
  Faroe Islands   Autonomous country of the
Kingdom of Denmark
49,700 1985– 243 187 194 624
  Frøya   Norwegian municipality island 4,300 1985– 1 1 2 4
  Gibraltar   British overseas territory 30,000 1987– 53 58 88 199
  Gotland   Swedish county 57,200 1985– 243 187 194 624
  Greenland   Autonomous country
within the Kingdom of Denmark
56,000 1989– 17 21 27 63
  Guernsey   Part of a British crown dependency 65,800 1985– 382 392 429 1,203
  Hitra   Norwegian municipality island 4,250 1985–1989, 1997– 3 5 5 13
  Isle of Man   British crown dependency 84,500 1985– 413 396 407 1,216
  Isle of Wight   English county 138,400 1985– 167 166 197 530
  Jersey   British crown dependency 105,500 1985– 491 491 444 1,426
  Menorca   Spanish island 94,400 2007– 36 34 46 116
  Orkney Islands   Scottish council area 21,300 1985– 20 37 41 98
  Rhodes   Greek island - a separate municipality 115,500 1999–2011, 2015 51 44 43 138
  Saaremaa   Estonian island - county 31,000 1991– 77 86 77 238
  Saint Helena   British overseas territory 4,250 1985–1987, 1997– 1 2 3 6
  Sark   Part of a British crown dependency 600 1987–2011, 2015– 3 9 8 20
  Shetland Islands   Scottish council area 23,200 1985– 48 68 93 209
  Western Isles
Na h-Eileanan an Iar
  Scottish council area 27,400 2005– 17 13 22 49
  Ynys Môn   Welsh council area 69,700 1985– 27 33 46 106
  Iceland   Iceland 329,000 1985–1997 50 45 41 136
  Malta   Malta 445,000 1985–1987 6 2 2 10
  Prince Edward Island   Province of Canada 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, and Jersey have each sent teams to the Commonwealth Games.

SportsEdit

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  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 14  Y
Athletics  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 16  Y  Y
Badminton  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 15  Y  Y
Basketball  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8  Y  Y
Bowls (Indoor‡,
Outdoor, or Ten Pin*)
 Y  Y*  Y 3  Y*
Cycling  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 15  Y  Y
Football  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 15  Y
Golf  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 12  Y
Gymnastics  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10  Y  Y
Judo  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6  Y
Sailing (may include
Sailboarding*)
 Y*  Y*  Y*  Y  Y  Y*  Y*  Y*  Y*  Y*  Y*  Y* 12
Shooting  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 16  Y  Y
Squash  Y  Y  Y 3  Y
Swimming  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 16  Y  Y
Table Tennis  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 14  Y  Y
Tennis  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 12  Y  Y
Triathlon  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5  Y  Y
Volleyball (may include
Beach Volleyball*)
 Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y*  Y  Y  Y*  Y* 16  Y*  Y*
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 athletesEdit

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

FootnotesEdit

  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".
  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 to host 2021 Island Games". BBC News. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Orkney to host 2023 Island Games". 7 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Island Games: Guernsey to bid to host 2021 event". 4 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Anglesey's 2025 Island Games bid 'getting serious'". 7 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Commonwealth Games: Wales". Hansard. 16 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Manx bid to host future Island Games". Manx radio. 11 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Faroe Islands to bid for the Island Games". 30 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Falklands wants to host the 2033 Island Games". 27 August 2018.
  17. ^ "About the Games". IIGA.

External linksEdit