Guernsey Press

Glamping village idea to house 700 Island Games athletes

A ‘GLAMPING’ athletes’ village at Beau Sejour could host as many as 700 people when the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games arrive this time next year.

A sample of the type of glamping tent which could house Island Games athletes was on display at Beau Sejour. Left to right, Games director Julia Bowditch, International island Games Association chairman Jorgen Pettersson and director of volunteering Wayne Bulpitt. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31011604)

With exactly a year to go until the opening ceremony, organisers have confirmed a plan to overcome concerns about a bed shortage for athletes and officials.

They have agreed a partnership with Tent2hire, an industry leader in camping and glamping which has provided services to events like the London 2012 Olympics and Uefa Champions League Finals.

Guernsey 2023 director of volunteering Wayne Bulpitt, a former UK chief commissioner for the Scout Association, believes a huge set-up of tents around the softball diamond will provide ‘an attractive option’ for 500 to 700 athletes, officials and volunteers.

He estimates that they will need to accommodate 3,200 people in total for the home Games.

Although space has already been reserved at 35 hotels, camping and self-catering establishments, the organisers had expressed concerns that there could still be a shortfall of beds. So 'glamping' is being considered as the solution.

'There’s plenty of great festivals and sporting events that Tent2hire have supported,’ Mr Bulpitt said.

‘They will be very high-quality, practical facilities.

‘Hopefully with it being at Beau Sejour, we will make a hub right at the centre of the Games and near the transport network that will move the athletes and officials around.’

Mr Bulpitt confirmed that the glamping set-up will be one of the cheaper accommodation options available and that those using it will be fully catered for. Large teams will also have their own marquees provided.

He and fellow organisers are now in the process of gauging interest.

‘The athletes love to be together and they may prefer the community we will create around Beau Sejour, while equally others will prefer the comfort of a hotel,’ Mr Bulpitt added.

‘It’s about presenting the options and working with teams. I think it will be an exciting option and it will be good to get a group of enthusiastic, supportive people.’

The idea has earned the approval of International Island Games Association chairman Jorgen Pettersson, who was one of many representatives touring Guernsey’s facilities yesterday.

A sample bell tent at Beau Sejour helped convince Mr Pettersson that the glamping set-up is ‘a brilliant idea’.

‘I think that the sports people who choose this alternative will find it great,’ he said. ‘They will meet and greet each other.

‘At the end of the day, it’s not the comfort that you’re after when you’re competing at the NatWest International Island Games – you are here for the adventure. This is adventure, both in accommodation and in sport.’