CYCLING could yet be added to the 2019 NatWest Island Games in Gibraltar, with discussions in recent weeks said to have been encouraging.
However, it is looking extremely unlikely that volleyball will be given a lifeline as it appears near-certain that they will now not take part in three summers’ time.
Gibraltar stepped in as emergency hosts for 2019 after the withdrawal of Menorca, but the size of the British territory – just 2.6 square miles – means they have offered a reduced programme.
Just a dozen sports were included on their official bid document, with football, golf, cycling and volleyball, archery, gymnastics and traditional bowls all omitted.
Five months later, Gibraltar Island Games Association president Linda Alvarez says that there is still scope to add cycling to the programme – although it is still far from guaranteed – but that there is little hope for volleyball.
‘Discussions for cycling have been quite positive,’ she said.
‘It has always been the logistics and the size of the place that’s been the problem, so we’ve had a look at different plans and have gone to our Planning Commission to see whether it’s viable.
‘We’ve asked organisers from Jersey [the 2015 Games] to come out and look at the course because we want to use their expertise to get it going.
‘Regarding volleyball, we’ve not had much headway with that. At the moment we’re looking for a suitable venue, which we don’t have.’
Guernsey Velo Club president Gary Wallbridge is on the Games technical committee that is exploring the possibility of adding cycling.
‘They may not think they have the space or terrain to hold events, but I am confident they do and we will do everything we can to assist them making cycling happen,’ he said.
- More in Thursday's Guernsey Press.